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iLtteratttre, Science, ^Lrt 3 anD 




ConrniGHi, 1908, 

COPYRIGHT, -1906, 




Pri*Ud at The Rierrttdr Prai, Camtridge, Man., V. S. A. 



Across the Creek, Lucy Pratt .... 803 

Air of the City, The, Hollis Godfrey . . 62 

And Son, Caroline Brett McLean ... 766 

Anthropomania, Wilbur Larremore . . 668 

Automobile Selfchness, 8. K. Humphrey 679 

Bancroft, George, William M. Sloane . 275 

Bayonet-Poker The, S. M. Crothers . . 721 
Beatitudes of a Suburbanite, The, John 

Preston True 552 

Beggar's Christmas, A, Edith Wyatt . . 845 

Bret Harte's Heroines, H. C. Merwin . 297 
Burma, The Province of, James Masca- 

reneHubbard 416 

Cambridge History of English Literature, 
The .692 

Cape Breton, On the French Shore of, 

Harry James Smith 392 

Castro's Country, Henry Seidel Canby . 683 

Cheerful Feast of San Michele, The, 

James E. Dunning 660 

Chicago Spiders, Charles D. Stewart . . 447 

Civic Righteousness via Percentages, 

Raymond L. Bridgman 797 

Closing the Country Home, Zephine Hum- 
phrey 647 

College of Discipline and the College of 

Freedom. The, Henry S. Pritchett . . 603 

Competition, Henry Holt 516 

Confessions of a Railroad Signalman, VI, 

J. O. Pagan 109 

Curiosities of Diplomatic Life, Herbert 

H. D. Peirce 511 

Democracy and the Expert, Joseph Lee . 611 
Diminishing Increase of Population, The, 

W. S. Rossiter 212 

Doctor, The, William John Hopkins . . 348 

Doctrinaire, On Being a, S. M. Crothers 585 

Education and the Socialistic Movement, 

John Bates Clark 433 

Egypt, The Progress of, James Mascarene 

Hubbard 539 

End of the Story, The, Laura Campbell . 94 

Enforced Railroad Competition, Ray 

Morris 366 

Enfranchised Woman, What it means to 

be an, Ellis Meredith 196 

England's Pennsylvania, In, Arthur Grant 556 

English Working- Woman and the Fran- 
chise, The, Edith Abbott ..... 343 

Enter " Herr Kapellmeister," William 

E. Walter 760 

Executive Aggression, George W. Alger 577 

Farmers' Union and the Tobacco Pool, 

The, John L. Mathews 482 

Ferry Bells, The, Walter Manly Hardy . 463 

France, The Year in, Stoddard Dewey . 232 

Fresh Snow on La Grivola, W. S. Jackson 86 

Ghosts, Frank Crane 823 

Godkin, Edwin Lawrence, J. F. Rhodes 320 

Heart of a Blue-Stocking, The, Lucy 

Martin Donnelly 536 

Heart of the United States, The, James 

P. Munroe 334 

Heroine, The, Harry James Smith . . . 504 
Hillsboro's Good Luck, Dorothy Canfield 131 
Honest Literary Criticism, Charles Miner 
Thompson 179 

Ibsen Harvest, The, Archibald Henderson 258 

In Goose Alley, Lucy Pratt 203 

Is an Honest Newspaper Possible ? A 

New York Editor 441 

Italy, The Last Two Years in, Homer 

Edmiston 772 

Jew and the Currents of his Age, The, 
Abram S. Isaacs 9 

King's Son of Palemban, The, William 
John Hopkins ......... 169 

Life in an Indian Compound, Mary Ana- 
ble Chamberlain 263 

Literature and Society of New Japan, K. 
Asakawa 73 

Madame Arvilla, Evelyn S. Schaeffer . . 15 
Mrs. Dixon's Culture Course, Elizabeth 

Jordan ..." 594 

Montagu, Lady Mary Wortley, A New 

Life of, Paul Elmer More 53 

Moods of the Mississippi, The, Raymond 

S. Spears 378 

Motoring, The Romance of, Henry Copley 

Greene .190 

National Fund for Efficient Democracy, 

A, William H. Allen 454 

National Game, The, Rollin Lynde Hartt 220 



Nature against Nurture, E. T. Brewster 120 
Ne.w Nationalistic Movement in India, 

The, Jabez T. Sunderland 526 

New View of Charity, The, Edward T. 

Devine . . 737 

Newport : the City of Luxury, Jonathan 

Thayer Lincoln 162 

Odor of Affluence, The, Margaret Fay 

Coughlin 315 

Old Regime, The, Elsie Singmaster . . 546 
On Learning to Write, Havelock Ellis . 626 
On the Slopes of Parnassus, Agnes Rep- 

plier 397 

Organization of Higher Education, The, 

Henry S. Pritchett 783 

Oriental Unity, The Ideal of, Paul S. 

Reinsch 23 

" Paradise Lost," Another Source of, N. 
Douglas 696 

Phillips, Stephen, as a Writer of Trag- 
edy, Frederick B. E. Hellems . .'. . 809 

Playwright and the Playgoers, The, 
Brand er Matthews 421 

Plea for the Adult Minor, A, Eenton 
Foster Murray 827 

Poe, The Fame of, John Albert Macy . . 835 

Political Campaigning in England and 
America, Edward Porritt 156 

Poor, The, Henry C. Rowland .... 728 

Problem Play, Some Moral Aspects of 
the, Louts W. Flatus 638 

Races in the United States, W. Z. Ripley 745 
Reading the Snow, Raymond S. Spears . 791 

Religion of Beauty in Woman, The, 

Jefferson B. Fletcher 472 

Restatement of Theology, The, George 

Hodges 124 

" Restoring " Works of Art, Frank Jew- 

ett Mather 651 

Romance of Motoring, The, Henry Copley 

Greene 190 

Round the Horn, F. H. Shaw .... 102 

Scarcity of Skunks, The, D. L. Sharp . 408 

Seekin' of Ike, The, Edith Fullerton Scott 633 
Self-Government in Public Schools, 

Bertha H. Smith 675 

Senor's Vigil, The, Mary Glascock . . 250 
Snuff-Boxes, Holbrook White . ... 704 
Social Reconstruction To-day, John Mar- 
tin 289 

Spanish Drama of To-day, The, Elizabeth 

Wallace 357 

Story of Bully, The, Charles D. Stewart . 145 

Theatrical Manager, A Plea for the, 

Lorin F. Deland 492 

These Enchanted Woods, E.R. Wheeler 383 
Thoreau's "Maine Woods," Fanny 

Hardy Eckstorm 242 

Unbuilding a Building,' W. Packard . . 403 

Voices, Lucy Scarborough Conant . . . 271 

What is the Matter with our Land Laws ? 

Seth K. Humphrey 1 

White Birch, The, Candace Wheeler . . 34 

Winnowing Gold, Judith. Graves Waldo . 43 


Abbott, Edith, The English Working- 
Woman and the Franchise .... 343 

Alger, George W., Executive Aggression 577 

Allen, William H., A National Fund for 

Efficient Democracy 454 

Asakawa, K., Literature and Society of 

New Japan 73 

Brannin, James, Evening in Loudoun . 564 
Brewster, E. T., Nature against Nurture 120 
Bridgman, Raymond L., Civic Righteous- 
ness via Percentages 797 

Campbell, Laura, The End of the Story . 94 

Canby, Henry Seidel, Castro's Country . 683 

Canjield, Dorothy, Hillsboro's Good Luck 131 
Chamberlain, Mary Andble, Life in an 

Indian Compound 263 

Clark, John Bates, Education and the So- 
cialistic Movement 433 

Clarke, Jo$eph I.. C., The Soul of Nippon 621 

Cleghorn, Sarah N. 

Morrice Water , , 178 

Saint R.L.S 391 

Coates, Florence Earle, The Empty House 674 
Conant, Charles A., The Regulation of the 

Stock Exchange 307 

Conant, Lucy Scarborough, Voices . . . 271 
Conkling, Grace Hazard, To R. P. C. . . 789 
Coolbrith, Ina, With the Laurel : To Ed- 
mund Clarence Stedman . . . . . 202 
Coughlin, M. F., The Odor of Affluence . 315 

Crane, Frank, Ghosts 823 

Crothers, Samuel McChord 

On Being a Doctrinaire 585 

The Bayonet-Poker 721 

Davis, Fannie Stearns, The Secret Thing 646 
Deland, Lorin F., A Plea for the Theatri- 
cal Manager 492 

Devine, E. T., The New View of Charity 737 

Dewey, Stoddard, The Year in France . 232 


Donnelly, Lucy Martin, The Heart of a 

Blue-Stocking 536 

Dorr, Julia C. E., Spirit to Spirit . . 108 

Douglas, N., Another Source of " Para- 
dise Lost " 696 

Dunning, James E., The Cheerful Feast 

of San Michele '. . 660 

Eckstorm, Fanny Hardy, Thoreau's 

"Maine Woods" 242 

Edmiston, Homer, The Last Two Years 

in Italy 772 

Ellis, Havelock, On Learning to Write . 626 

Fagan, J. O., Confessions of a Railroad 

Signalman, VI (. . 109 

Flaccus, Louis W., Some Moral Aspects 

of the Problem Play ...... 638 

Fletcher, Jefftrson B., The Religion of 

Beauty in Woman 472 

Gilder, Richard W., In Helena's Garden 38 

Glascock, Mary, The Senor's Vigil . . 250 

Godfrey, Hollis, The Air of the City . . 62 

Grant, Arthur, In England's Pennsylvania 556 

Greene, H. C., The Romance of Motoring 190 

Guiney, Louise L, A Song of Far Travel 471 

Hardy, Walter Manly, The Ferry Bells 463 

Hartt, Eollin Lynde, The National Game 220 

Heckscher, E. Valantine 

Music, Going Home 257 

God's Hour- Glass 744 

Hellems, Frederick B. E., Stephen Phil- 
lips as a Writer of Tragedy .... 809 

Henderson, Archibald, The Ibsen Harvest 258 

Hodges, George, The Restatement of 

Theology 124 

Holt, Henry, Competition 516 

Hopkins, William John 

The King's Son of Palemban ... 169 

The Doctor 348 

Howe, M. A. De Wolfe, The Play ... 822 

Hubbard, James Mascarene 

The Province of Burma 416 

The Progress of Egypt 539 

Humphrey, Seth K. 

What is the Matter with our Land 

Laws? 1 

Automobile Selfishness 679 

Humphrey, Z., Closing the Country Home 647 

Isaacs, Abram S., The Jew and the Cur- 
rents of his Age 9 

Jackson, W. S., Fresh Snow on La Grivola 86 
Jordan, Elizabeth, Mrs. Dixon's Culture 

Course 594 

Larremore. Wilbur, Anthropomania . . 668 

Lee, Joseph, Democracy and the Expert . 611 
Lincoln, Jonathan Thayer, Newport : the 
City of Luxury . 162 

McLean, Caroline Brett, And Son . . . 766 

Macy, John Albert, The Fame of Poe . . 835 

Martin, John, Social Reconstruction To- 
day . 289 

Mather, Frank Jewett, "Restoring" 
Works of Art 651 

Mathews, John L., The Farmers' Union 
and the Tobacco Pool 482 

Mattheivs, Brander, The Playwright and 
the Playgoers 421 

Meredith, Ellis, What it means to be an 
Enfranchised Woman 196 

Merwin, Henry C., Bret Harte's Heroines 297 

Messer, Mary Burt, The Closed Door . . 536 

More, Paul Elmer, A New Life of Lady 
Mary Wortley Montagu 53 

Morris, Ray, Enforced Railroad Compe- 
tition 366 

Munroe, James P., The Heart of the 
United States 334 

Murray, Kenton Foster, A Plea for the 
Adult Minor 827 

New York Editor, A, Is an Honest News- 
paper Possible ? 441 

Packard, W., Unbuilding a Building . 403 

Peirce, Herbert H. D., Curiosities of Dip- 
lomatic Life 511 

Phinney, Evelyn, Rhyme of the Voyager 844 

Porritt, Edward, Political Campaigning 
in England and America 156 

Pratt, Lucy 

In Goose Alley 203 

Across the Creek 803 

Prentiss, Charlotte, Chanson Louis XIII 346 

Pritchett, Henry S. 

The College of Discipline and the Col- 
lege of Freedom 603 

The Organization of Higher Education 783 

Eeinsch, Paul S., The Ideal of Oriental 

Unity . 23 

Eepplier, Agnes, On the Slopes of Par- 
nassus 397 

Ehodes, J. F., Edwin Lawrence Godkiti . 320 
Richardson, J. E., Midsummer Abeyance 231 
Eipley, W. Z , Races in the United States 745 
Eossiter, W. S., The Diminishing In- 
crease of Population 212 

Rowland, Henry C., The Poor .... 728 

Schaeffer, Evelyn S., Madame Arvilla . 15 

Scott, Edith Fullerton, The Seekin' of Ike 633 

Sharp, D. L., The Scarcity of Skunks . 408 

Shaw, F. H., Round the Horn .... 102 



Silver, Debbie H., The College of the City 72 

Singmaster, Elsie, The Old Regime . . 546 

Sloane, William M., George Bancroft . 275 
Smith, Bertha H., Self-Government in 

Public Schools 675 

Smith, Harry James 

On the French Shore of Cape Breton 392 

The Heroine 504 

Spears, Raymond S. 

The Moods of the Mississippi ... 378 

Reading the Snow 791 

Stewart, Charles D. 

The Story of Bully 145 

Chicago Spiders 447 

Sunderland, Jabez T., The New National- 
ist Movement in India 526 

Tabb, John B., Going Blind 281 

Thomas, Edith M. , A Beckoning at Sunset 314 
Thompson, Charles Miner, Honest Literary 

Criticism 179 

Torrence, Ridgely, Evensong .... 14 
True, John Preston, The Beatitudes of a 

Suburbanite 552 

Waldo, Judith Graves, Winnowing Gold 43 
Wallace, Elizabeth, The Spanish Drama 

of To-day 357 

Walter, William E., Enter " Herr Kapell- 
meister" 760 

Ward, Henshaw, That Sleep of D< ch . 427 
Wharton, Edith, Life .... .501 

Wheeler, Candace, The White Birch . . 34 

Wheeler, E. R., These Enchanted Woods 383 

White, Holbrook, Snuff-Boxes .... 704 

Wyatt, Edith, A Beggar's Christmas . . 845 

Beckoning at Sunset, A, Edith M. Thomas 

Chanson Louis XIII, Charlotte Prentiss 
Closed Door, The, Mary Burt Messer . . 
College of the City, The, Debbie H. Silver 

Empty House, The, Florence Earle Coates 
Evening in Loudoun, James Brannin . . 
Evensong, Ridgely Torrence 

God's Hour-Glass, E. Valantine Hecksher. 
Going Blind, John B. Tabb 

In Helena's Garden, Richard W. Gilder . 
Life, Edith Wharton 

Midsummer Abeyance, James E. Rich- 


314 Morrice Water, Sarah N. Cleghorn . . 178 
Music, Going Home, 1?. V. Hecksher . . 257 






Play, The, M. A. De Wolfe Howe . 


Saint R. L. S., Sarah N. Cleghorn . . . 391 

674 Secret Thing, The, Fannie Stearns Davis 646 
564 Song of Far Travel, A, Louise Imogen 

14 Guiney 471 

Soul of Nippon, The. Joseph L C. Clarke 621 

744 Spirit to Spirit, Julia C. R. Dorr ... 108 

That Sleep of Death, Henshaw Ward . 427 

To R. P. C., Grace Hazard Conkling . . 789 

Voyager, Rhyme of The, E. Phinney . . 844 

With the Laurel : To Edmund Clarence 

Stedman, Ina Coolbrith 202 


Bit of Comparative Criticism, A . . 
Business Law in the Natural World . 


Dogberry in the College Classroom . .431 

Education for Old Age 716 

Emancipation of the Middle-Aged, The 857 

Fishes' Faces 142 

Hesternus to his Publisher 427 

Improvised Words 714 

La Cigale in Economics 286 

Little Church of those that Stumble and 

Rise, The 856 

Lo ! the Poor Adjective 567 

Money and the Man 569 

New Art Heroine, The 574 

" Now who shall Arbitrate ? " . . . 

On Being a Scapegoat 

On the Folly of Learning Noble Verse 

Our Town 

Our Venetian Lamp 

Plea for the Black Sheep, A 

Plea for the Unacted Drama, A . . 

Pond Pasture, The . . 

Scrooge's Ghost 

Something Saved 

Speed Limit for Love, A 

Spirit of Leisure, The 

Toussaint at Rougeville, La . . 
Weak Joint in the Sentimentalist' 
Armor, The 









JULY, 1908 



SoME.rUNG has gone wrong with our 
public domain, this we discover as it 
approaches the vanishing point, and 
now the probe has been sent deep, that 
we may, so to speak, succeed in getting 
the barn door locked before the last and 
least attractive horse is stolen. That 
fraud has been exposed wildly excites 
no one, the probe seems to find that 
in our system at every thrust; but one 
thing about this land-graft exposure that 
gives a distinct shock is the personnel of 
those caught in the legal dragnet. Gov- 
ernors, congressmen, high federal offi- 
cials, professional men, a minister, too, 
and a missionary at that, are in the 
toils. This psychological feature should 
make us think, and ask questions. 

Is the West's moral sense so dull, as 
some ask us to believe, that it has toler- 
ated for years men in high places whom 
the law now holds up as persistent crim- 
inals ? Or is there something wrong with 
our land laws and the administration of 
them, so that now, when primitive Virtue 
peers into the recesses, she discovers with 
horror an anomalous situation? 

There is little of remedial value to be 
gained by discussing the moral sense of 
the men involved by the disclosures of 
land frauds. One thing is certain: the 
public domain and, therefore, the 
public will benefit immensely by the 
example of their punishment, whether 
they entirely deserve it or not. But a life- 
long personal knowledge of frontier land 
conditions impels the writer to register a 
few reflections upon the more pertinent 
question, What is the matter with our 
land laws? 
VOL. 102 -NO. 1 

The homestead law was designed to 
secure the development of new country, 
and it met, most wisely, the early condi- 
tion that men must be induced to brave 
the hardships of the frontier, by provid- 
ing for a merely nominal fixed charge 
upon every homesteader who would settle 
upon one hundred and sixty acres of 
land, cultivate it, and make it his home 
for five years. This provision of a rela- 
tively small fixed charge for the home- 
stead, irrespective of differences in land 
values, rewarded the hardy pioneer of 
the early days for pushing out beyond his 
neighbors, by giving him better land at 
the same cost in money as the more timid 
paid for their poorer homesteads nearer 
civilization; but he paid the difference, 
observe, in the greater hardships of de- 
veloping new country, and in that devel- 
opment the public received full value for 
its land. It was not the original intent of 
the homestead law to give in land value 
more than it exacted from the home- 
steader in industrial value; the fairness 
of the exchange was self-regulating. A 
citizen's " right " to take up government 
land had no more value, in itself, than 
had his right to go into a store and make 
a bargain for goods. An appreciation of 
these early conditions will enable us to 
comprehend better the subsequent per- 
version of our system of land distribu- 

Such was the homestead law in its pris- 
tine purity, a wise and beneficent law, 
so long as men needed inducement to 
settle upon public land; so long as men 
paid the government for their land by 
extending its industrial boundaries; so 

What is the Matter with our Land Laws? 


bonafide homesteaders; but no longer. 

The first change in conditions came 
with the advent of railroads through the 
great unsettled portions of the Middle 
West. Railroads gave the first-coming 
homesteaders the peculiar advantage of 
good land, with few of the usual respons- 
ibilities and difficulties of the pioneer; 
the railroads were then, in fact, the 
real pioneers, and the government re- 
warded them for their share of the burden 
by gifts of every alternate section of land 
adjacent to their lines, while it continued 
to give these first-coming settlers full 
homestead privileges upon the remaining 
alternate sections, in return for assuming 
only a portion of the burdens of develop- 
ing new country. The earlier pioneers 
had extended civilization single-handed, 
and they knew of civilization's debt to 
them; these later settlers secured like 
benefits for merely assisting in the busi- 
ness of empire-building, and they 
knew that they were getting something 
from the government at less than its 
value. Right here the frontiersman's 
proud sense of adequate return to his gov- 
ernment began to fade, and right here 
the notion that a citizen's " right " to 
take up government land has, in itself, a 
money value, began to grow. Here began 
the trafiic in "rights" the greatest 
debauching influence in the distribution 
of public land. 

It is a peculiar fact that the govern- 
ment, instead of seeking to check this 
" gift " feature in its supposedly business 
deal with the settler, by exacting more 
from him in the way of industrial value 
for the benefit of the public whose land 
it was distributing, actually lessened in 
some respects its demands upon home- 
steaders. Several provisions of the law 
served to expedite the business of turning 
one's " right " into cash. One method of 
getting quick returns was to file on a 
piece of land at the local land office, then 
relinquish the right to a later comer, for 
a consideration, to make a new entry on 
that tract. These relinquishments were 

recognized and accepted for record, and 
the new filings entered, without question, 
at all land offices, although the very act 
of voluntary relinquishment of one's 
homestead right would suggest to the 
feeblest intellect a consideration paid by 
the new entryman. Again, the preemp- 
tion law granted to a citizen full title to 
one hundred and sixty acres after six 
months' residence upon it, with proof of 
nominal improvements and the payment 
of one dollar and a quarter per acre. 
Further, the homestead law provided 
that a homesteader might, at any time 
after six months, abandon his determina- 
tion to live upon his homestead for five 
years, in order to acquire title without 
cost, " commute " it to a preemption, 
and, by paying the preemption price, 
prove up his title at once. Thus every 
settler could get full title to three hun- 
dred and twenty acres of land in six 
months, sell out, and go back home. 

Under these provisions of law the gov- 
ernment surrendered its most valuable 
compensation for public land, bona 
fide, producing settlers. It still continued 
its principle of land distribution without 
regard to return of value in money, but 
it failed to exact return in that most vital 
of values, permanent settlement and 
development of new country. Is it to be 
wondered at that this condition increased 
enormously the value of " rights; " fixed 
in the public mind the idea that the gov- 
ernment was intent on giving away value 
in public land without regard to returns ; 
and developed on the frontier a motley 
population of every class except farmers, 
bent on exercising their " right " to gov- 
ernment land ? 

Who makes our land laws ? Unfortu- 
nately, owing to our system of legislative 
barter, under which the various special 
interests so often assist one another to 
laws framed to meet their several special 
desires, the land interests of the West 
have always dictated our land laws and 
controlled the policy of the Land Office. 
That changing conditions, which made of 
the public domain an attractive property 

What is the Matter with our Land Laws ? 

of enormous value, should have been met 
by fundamental changes in the methods 
of land distribution looking to its pro- 
tection and proper development, is sim- 
ply a bald truism. Just as certainly, 
too, proper restraining legislation could 
not have been expected of those who were 
to profit by lack of restraint. Conse- 
quently, the principle of fixed price per 
acre without regard to value, first come 
first served, has been kept alive by the 
land interests down to the present day, 
because it gives them the value in the 
land above that price; while nearly every 
amendment to the land laws is in the 
nature of a surrender to the land boom- 
ers. The workings of our absurd system 
of courteously allowing each prisoner to 
lock himself in and keep the key, are most 
interestingly exemplified in the history of 
the public domain. 

Take, for instance, the boom of the 
early eighties in Kansas, Nebraska, and 
Dakota. Millions of acres of government 
land, accessible by rail, were open to 
settlement. Six months' sojourn on the 
prairie called for no equipment of farm- 
ing experience or tools; a shanty, a well, 
and some convenient neighbor to plough a 
few acres, these for " improvements." 
What more was this than an invitation 
to all sorts and conditions of men and 
women to make a few hundred dol- 
lars " off the government " in a summer's 
outing ? 

Nothing so grows upon a man as the 
notion that he has something coming to 
him from the government. Drug clerks, 
brakemen, schoolma'ams, ministers tem- 
porarily uncalled, adventurers of all sorts, 
all rushed for government land, not 
for the purpose of developing it, but to 
get the value there was in it above the 
government's fixed charge, to cash in 
their " right." A horde of land specu- 
lators followed in their footsteps, these 
" settlers " would soon have land to sell. 
Still more in evidence were the agents of 
loan companies seeking farm mortgages 
for their Eastern investors. As a matter 
of fact these loan companies often outbid 

the speculators; they habitually loaned 
six hundred, eight hundred, or one thou- 
sand dollars on these farms that were so 
easily acquired from the government at 
the fixed price of two hundred dollars, 
loaned it to these pseudo-farmers who 
had never milked a cow and never ex- 
pected to. 

The writer has in mind an investiga- 
tion (one of many) which he made in 
1889 while land inspector for a loan com- 
pany. Forty-one of these newly acquired 
" homes " in central Nebraska were ex- 
amined, all previously mortgaged to the 
company; of these, three were occupied 
by the original owners, three by migra- 
tory squatters, and thirty -five were wholly 
abandoned. These thirty-eight missing 
mortgagors had not tried to farm the 
land, and failed; they had simply con- 
verted their " right " into the loan com- 
pany's cash, and vanished. What wonder 
that there came a mournful day of reck- 
oning in the farm -mortgage business ? 

Thus the notion that public land is 
public spoil, encouraged by the land 
laws, hardened into a fixed conviction. 
Little sense remained of obligation to 
the government. The principle of fixed 
charge, so essential to the earlier move- 
ments westward, now served only to ex- 
cite cupidity. Men paid one dollar and 
a quarter per acre for land; its value 
above that, they regarded as theirs by 
right of citizenship. In increasing measure 
the distribution of public land became 
a traffic in " rights." Of all the motley 
crowd that helped themselves to public 
land during the boom of the eighties, 
not one in three had the slightest inten- 
tion to remain upon it; not one in five 
remained more than long enough to prove 
up and sejl out, or " mortgage out; " 
and not one in ten has left a perma- 
nent mark upon the landscape of Kansas, 
Nebraska, or Dakota. This is not a snap 
judgment. An accurate personal know- 
ledge, gained in the field, and extending 
over this whole period, is warrant for the 
assertion that these conditions, and not 
crop failures, were mainly responsible for 

What is the Matter with our Land Laws? 

the wholesale abandonment of western 
farms, and for the consequent seven-year 
industrial depression in the West. The 
best proof of this is the success now at- 
tending the efforts of the real farmers 
who are working these same farms. 

Then came the repeal of the preemp- 
tion law in 1891 ; but as a final letting- 
down of the bars, the homestead law it- 
self was amended in the same act so as 
to permit final proof at the end of four- 
teen months, instead of five years, without 
additional price or penalty, and requir- 
ing actual occupancy during only eight 
months of the fourteen. 

It may seem that the government could 
not have gone further in encouraging the 
public's appetite for land spoils; but wit- 
ness the openings of Indian reservation 
lands. As a rule, these tracts were sur- 
rounded by well -settled country; natural 
inequalities of value were enormously in- 
creased by the proximity of towns and 
railroads; not one condition remained to 
give the fixed-price method an excuse for 
exercise; yet these lands, worth $p, $10, 
even $25 per acre, were all thrown open 
to public entry at fixed prices of $1.50 to 
$4.00 per acre, the price paid the In- 
dians. Poor Lo, and not the government, 
furnishes the spoils at every opening of 
Indian land. It was at this time that the 
government openly acknowledged the 
free gift of value, openly abandoned all 
notion of adequate return from the set- 
tler, by taking a hand in the method of 
dividing the spoils. It prescribed that 
the boomers line up on the edge of the 
coveted land, and at the crack of a gun 
rush pell-mell for the coveted prizes, 
and the devil take the hindmost. As 
there were anywhere from ten to five 
hundred men for every prize, there were 
many necessarily " hindmost," dis- 
appointed seekers of something for no- 

One step further the government went 
in its destruction of all honorable notions 
of land distribution. Conditions sur- 
rounding these land openings became too 
acute for even the " rush-at-the-crack-of- 

a-gun " method. Men murdered each 
other in the frantic scrambles; dozens 
claimed the same tract, and interminable 
lawsuits resulted. Then the Land Office, 
still held by law to the antiquated fixed- 
price principle, still denied the right to 
exact the five years' residence which 
would have kept out most of the rab- 
ble, devised a plan which came as near 
the line of promoting public immorality 
as ever did an act of this government. 
It prescribed a lottery-drawing for the 
lands; every entryman's name was to be 
put into a plain envelope, the envelopes 
placed in a huge box, and the box whirled 
around until the envelopes were well 
mixed. Then the envelopes were to be 
drawn out one by one; each entryman to 
have his choice of land in the order in 
which his envelope came out of the box. 

It was a beautiful proposition for those 
who are perennially looking for some- 
thing for nothing. Instance the opening 
of the Rosebud land in 1904. Relieved 
of apprehension as to life and limb, guar- 
anteed " fairness and equality of oppor- 
tunity " (so read the lottery prospectus) 
in a pure game of chance where the turn 
of an envelope meant hundreds, or thou- 
sands, or nothing, the gambling in- 
stinct was aroused in men as never before. 
They came in droves and trainloads; 
they descended upon the local land 
offices until 106,296 of them had their 
envelopes in the big box to draw for some 
2000 farms more than 500 applicants 
for every farm! The lottery system is 
now a feature in all land openings. 

Encouraged and abetted by the land 
laws, the gambling mania for public land 
has passed all bounds. Every land open- 
ing is a wild orgy; the fierce rush at the 
crack of a gun was nothing to the now 
fiercer hope at the turn of an envelope. 
A frenzied, deluded mob wastes its energy 
and money at every lottery-drawing in 
wild reaches for the government's bait, 
always followed about by a horde of land 
speculators, ready to pick off the win- 
ners, a set of men in make-up and mo- 
tive as utterly unlike the men who made 

What is the Matter with our Land Laws? 

the original homestead law a blessing to 
their country, as black is unlike white. 

Now, suddenly, primitive Virtue turns 
the corner. What does she find ? 

Most of the public domain has been 
frittered away upon entrymen who took 
the land for the money there was in it, 
and left its development to those who 
came after and paid for it. Large num- 
bers of entrymen, impatient of the obvi- 
ously perfunctory and ineffective require- 
ments of the land laws, have bargained 
away their " rights " before, and not after, 
exercising them, which is contrary to 
law. Vast areas of timber land worth- 
less for agriculture, and subject to pur- 
chase only under the timber-land acts 
have been taken under the homestead 
laws as agricultural land, an unmiti- 
gated fraud. Lumbermen, compelled to 
buy standing timber in little parcels of 
one hundred and sixty acres each, from 
citizens who have the only right to ac- 
quire it from the government, have been 
found guilty of wholesale traffic in these 
citizens' "rights," and of abetting fraud- 
ulent entries of timber land. Gross fraud 
in high places has been unearthed ad 

Now the transgressors are to be pun- 
ished. But why should we be so amazed 
that a quarter-century of education down- 
ward in every ideal pertaining to pub- 
lic-land distribution has developed a 
streak of yellow across the moral sense 
of those immediately concerned ? And is 
it so surprising that land officials, held 
by absurd laws to the business of dissi- 
pating the public domain as legitimate 
private spoils, should have become cal- 
lous to illegal graft which did little more 
than accelerate the dissipation? This is 
not intended as an apology for fraud, 
but as an arraignment of the land laws 
for offering such wholesale, continuous 
and alluring invitation to fraud. Not for 
twenty years has our policy of land dis- 
tribution been entitled to respect; hence, 
its provisions have not been respected. 
It is well enough to indict those who have 
over-reached laws, even obviously sub- 

versive laws; but in the public mind 
the lawmakers should be indicted, not 
only the Western congressmen who pro- 
moted the mischief, but those of the now 
horrified East who swapped votes with 
them, and without whose aid in Congress 
the public domain could not legally have 
been so plundered. 

What should be done in order that the 
distribution of the remaining public land 
may proceed on a saner basis ? 

Wipe out absolutely the inherent value 
of a citizen's " right " to public land by 
exacting a full equivalent for the land, 
not in money, but mainly in restrictive 
obligations which shall insure to the 
public settled, producing communities in 
exchange for its lands. Require, for in- 
stance, in the case of agricultural land, 
a full five-year occupancy; sufficient 
equipment to make reasonably sure the 
entryman's ability to fulfill his contract; 
a degree of cultivation varying with con- 
ditions of climate and soil, but well up to 
the standard of similar lands improved; 
improvements at the end of the five-year 
term commensurate with the value of the 
land, but with a provision for misfortune 
and accident. In short, make the main 
charge for the land in terms which are 
no burden whatever to the bona fde 
farmer, because in direct line with his 
intentions and best interests, but which 
are wholly unattractive to the passing 
throng that merely seeks something for 

Now comes the question of money con- 
sideration, for differences in land 
values must finally be leveled up by a 
money charge. The fixed charge per acre 
levels nothing; it makes the better tracts 
worth fiercely striving for even under the 
most ideal restrictions, and may easily 
be too great a price for the poorer lands. 
It is the land gambler's best friend, and 
its absurd survival is due solely to his 
efforts. The fixed charge should be abol- 
ished. In localities where settlement will 
in the nature of things proceed by slow 
degrees, prices might be fixed by ap- 
praisement; but in all cases of special 


What is the Matter with our Land Laws? 

openings of lands to public entry, and 
these will hereafter furnish the bulk of 
good public land, nothing but com- 
petitive sale, subject always to full restric- 
tions, will secure a sane, equitable dis- 
tribution of the land to actual farmers. 

It may be asserted that the restrictions, 
coupled with competitive sale, will not 
offer sufficient inducement to effect rapid 
settlement of new districts; but which 
will prove more attractive to worthy 
farmers, a free-for-all lottery drawing 
for land on which the restrictions are so 
notoriously nominal that then* chance to 
draw anything is cut down by all sorts 
and conditions of men to one in five hun- 
dred, or a competitive sale of land under 
restrictions which effectually bar every- 
body but themselves ? The best answer 
to this is a look at the frenzied crowd at 
any one of these lottery-drawings. It goes 
without saying that a sale restricted to 
farmers would develop much lower prices 
for the land than would a sale open to 
the speculative element, and would there- 
fore be more attractive to farmers. 

Of even more importance than the dis- 
posal of agricultural land is the conserv- 
ing of our remaining timber. However 
much the admirable system of forest re- 
serves may be extended, there will neces- 
sarily be vast areas in the aggregate 
which must be left subject to disposal 
under the timber laws. This portion of 
the public timber, unprotected by re- 
serves, should have earnest considera- 
tion. The Timber Land Act describes 
timber land as " valuable chiefly for tim- 
ber, but unfit for cultivation; " it also 
endows every citizen of the United States 
with the right to take 160 acres of timber 
land at a fixed minimum price per acre, 
and requires the applicant to swear " that 
he does not apply to purchase the same 
on speculation, but in good faith to ap- 
propriate it to his own exclusive use and 
benefit; " this, against the certainty that 
the average citizen has no use for 160 
acres of timber, and is making his oath 
with one speculative eye on the lumber- 
men, if, indeed, he has not been fore- 

handed enough to get in advance their of- 
fer for the timber, to consider in connec- 
tion with the price he will have to pay. 

Just as the farming land should go to 
farmers without the intervention of spec- 
ulators, timber should be disposed of 
to its logical buyers the lumbermen. 
Cut out the citizen middleman, and deal 
direct with the lumber producer. Here, 
again, exact the first consideration in 
terms which are for the public welfare, 
terms which shall make such land 
" unfit for cultivation " a perpetual 
source of timber. Require that a certain 
percentage of the smaller trees shall be 
left standing to protect the young growth, 
hold the soil, and retain the moisture; 
that the timber shall be cut with the least 
possible damage to the second growth. 
Then, sell the first cutting to the lumber- 
man, but hold the title forever in the gov- 
ernment, and terminate the lumberman's 
interest upon the removal of his timber. 

Under this plan every remaining tract 
of public timber would at once become a 
perpetual forest reserve, subject to gov- 
ernment control. If we concede that the 
conservation of our timber cannot be 
safely left to private enterprise, it follows 
without argument that not one acre of 
land " valuable chiefly for timber, but 
unfit for cultivation" should pass to 
private ownership, although millions of 
acres have so passed, and have been de- 
spoiled and left wholly worthless for any 
purpose. If it were possible to overcome 
the inborn notion that, somehow, title to 
all public land must pass through the 
bare hands of our sovereign citizens, 
there would be found plenty of respons- 
ible lumbermen glad to escape the graft- 
ing middlemen, glad to find the way open 
for honorable dealing with the govern- 
ment, and glad to assist in perpetuating 
the lumber supply. Our forest-reserve 
system is the most vitally important pub- 
lic enterprise of the day, but if we are 
really going to save our timber we must 
save the vastly greater area which lies in 
scattered tracts outside any prospective 

What is the Matter with our Land Laws? 

And the last act in this drama of ab- 
surdities is now on. We are cheerfully 
expending millions to reclaim portions 
of the western deserts; we brag of the 
immense irrigating systems now being 
constructed in the arid regions, and no 
wonder, for they are big and grand ; but 
we are so lost in the bigness of the work 
that mighty few of us think to inquire, 

Who are going to get this reclaimed 
land, and how are they going to get it ? 

The Reclamation Act provides that 
the reclaimed land, divided into farming 
"units " of about forty acres each, shall 
be entered under the general homestead 
laws, except that full five years of resi- 
dence shall be required; and that, in each 
project, the price to be paid in not 
more than ten annual installments 
" shall be determined with a view of re- 
turning to the reclamation fund the esti- 
mated cost of construction of the project, 
and shall be apportioned equitably/' 
This is construed by the Land Office as 
meaning that the cost of a given project 
shall be assessed equally against the 
irrigable acreage within it. Nothing ap- 
pears upon the surface of this plan to 
excite the suspicion of the casual ob- 
server; but, as a matter of fact, it carries 
the fundamental defect which has made 
a farce of our system of land distribution, 

the relation of actual value of the land 
to the price to be charged for it is entirely 

Examine the working of it. The gov- 
ernment does not intend to undertake 
any project in which the cost may exceed 
the value of the reclaimed land; it is as- 
sumed that in most cases the land will be 
worth vastly more than its cost. In every 
such instance the government will be up 
against the same old disgraceful busi- 
ness, the giving away of big values to 
a ravenous horde. Again, it is not impos- 
sible that, through miscalculation, some 
projects will cost more than the reclaimed 
land will be worth; on such the govern- 
ment must inevitably lose, and, as it can- 
not recoup from its profitable ventures, 
the loss will be net. 

Of still more significance are the 
marked inequalities of value within 
any given project. Under the flat-price 
scheme, the best farms will be worth 
double or treble the selling price, while 
the poorer tracts, burdened with their 
average share of the total cost, will not 
be worth taking. Here, again, the gov- 
ernment stands to lose, with no chance 
to recoup. In every particular the scheme 
presents a case of " heads, the land man 
wins; tails, Uncle Sam loses." 

But speculation as to what may hap- 
pen is not necessary. The thing has hap- 
pened. In the opening of the Huntley 
(Montana) project during the summer 
of 1907, the Land Office has given us a 
striking example of what it proposes to 
do with the irrigated lands, an exam- 
ple worked out clear to the answer. 

This Huntley project contains 633 
farm units. The total cost per acre, 
thirty -four dollars, was assessed equally 
against the irrigable acreage. What 
though some tracts were worth one hun- 
dred dollars per acre and others worth 
ten ? A mere trifle to the crustaceans of 
the Land Office; this land had cost thirty- 
four dollars per acre, and thirty -four dol- 
lars each and every acre of it must bring. 
They did realize, however, that the values 
to be given away would invite murder 
under any ordinary system of homestead 
entry. Nothing better, surely, for this 
occasion than the envelope-drawing sys- 
tem; so the old lottery box was refur- 
bished, and the news spread abroad that 
the first-fruits of Uncle Sam's great irri- 
gation work were to be raffled away. 

Here is the result : 

5400 sealed applications went into the 
box for a chance to draw the prizes among 
the 633 farms. 

Less than 300 of the lucky drawers 
availed themselves of their right to select 

About 400 farms, not attractive at the 
fixed price, are still without buyers. 

Some 200 men " milked " the Huntley 
project of its principal value; a few others 
drew just about their money's worth; 

What is the Matter with our Land Laws ? 


5100 meandered homeward with blanks 
to show for their money; and the govern- 
ment is left " holding the sack " to the 
extent of more than half the cost of the 
entire project. 

Thus ends the Huntley project, until 
such time as the government concludes 
to pocket its loss and sell the four hun- 
dred farms for what they will bring. 

But whether the government loses or 
makes in these irrigation projects is not 
so much to the point. The point is that, 
after the expenditure of millions to pro- 
vide water for these lands, every tract 
should be occupied, and occupied by 
men competent to make a success of the 
complicated system which the govern- 
ment has placed at their disposal. The 
absurd method of distribution defeats 
both of these objects. Does any one sup- 
pose for a moment that 5400 farmers 
men capable of the intensive methods of 
farming required under an irrigating sys- 
tem gathered at Billings, Montana, 
from all parts of the country, to draw 
farms from a lottery, with the chances 
twenty to one against them? Certainly 

The class of men that a sane, competi- 
tive sale would have put upon every one 
of those farms is just the class that has no 
time for the short end of a long gamble; 
and the class of men attracted to Billings 
by this drawing is just the class that has 
no use for a competitive sale. 

It seems the height of folly to deliver 
these valuable lands without one require- 
ment as to equipment, experience, or 
capacity which shall reasonably insure 
the success of the entrymen and the 
payment of the heavy installments and 
charges as they come due. Without the 
shadow of a doubt our irrigatecWands will 
pass into quick failure and partial |ban- 
donment under the present system, just 
as did the middle West under similar 
conditions. The failure will be attributed 
to drouth, water, high Heaven, but 
never to the pernicious system of distri- 
bution that invites the riff-raff of the 
country to people its new land. Then, 

after enormous economic waste, the lands 
will be redeemed by the men who know 
how, just as the middle West has already 
been redeemed by the men who know 
how. This repetition of a sorry history 
seems so useless when a competitive sale 
of the land under full homestead restric- 
tions would make a natural selection of 
men most fit, put a farmer on every tract, 
and practically assure the success of the 
system as well as the repayment of the 
cost of construction. 

But the western boomer wants the 
public lands dealt out in the good old 
way. It starts off the new section with a 
boom and a hurrah and a surplus of 
people. Some of this surplus buys land 
in the surrounding country and settles 
down; and the disappointed ones who 
go back home leave many good dollars 
in the new country. The 106,296 partici- 
pants in the Rosebud drawing spent in 
South Dakota easily twice the value of 
the 2000 farms in mere expense money; 
Billings, Montana, will smile for some 
time to come over the coin left by 
the disappointed Huntley pilgrims; and 
every lottery-drawing attracts ten times 
as many men and dollars as the boomers 
could get together in any other way. As 
an advertisement, the lottery -drawing is a 
wonder; as a bunco scheme it cannot be 
beaten, for the army of deluded ne'er- 
do-wells who hopefully follow the trail of 
these openings have only their Uncle 
Sam to blame for the blanks they draw. 

Will the booming "builders of the 
West" tamely give up a system that has 
done and will still do so much for them ? 
In Western parlance, not on your life! 
The use of the public land as bait is an 
old and solidly fixed institution in the 
West. The present administration in its 
hunt for guilty men is merely tickling the 
surface of this matter. No amount of 
prosecution is going to dislodge the deep- 
seated notion that the public lands be- 
long to the West, just as certain features 
of the protective tariff are the special per- 
quisites of the East has not each sec- 
tion assisted the other in maintaining its 

The Jew and the Currents of his Age 

preserves ? and it is inconceivable that 
at this late day the fine balance will be 
disturbed in order that a few grains of 
business sense may be infused into our 
methods of land distribution. 

There has never been a sustained pub- 
lic interest in the public domain! Its 
relation to Congress is that of a special 
interest, and now, with many other 
special interests, it is receiving at the 
hands of a vigorous administration ex- 
ternal treatment for organic troubles. 
The difficulty lies in the laws. We suffer 
in this as in other respects from hang-over 
laws which, having outlived their use- 
fulness, are kept alive by special interests 

to serve their special desires. If it were 
possible to regard our public land as a 
present problem and make laws for its 
present needs without regard to the laws 
now on the statute books, nothing would 
remain of our antiquated system of land 

There is only one way to rid the public 
domain of the special interests that have 
usurped it; let public sentiment so over- 
whelm Congress that it will recognize the 
public domain as belonging to the whole 
nation, take it off the legislative barter 
list, and give us laws for its adminis- 
tration founded on sane business prin- 



THERE are few more popular miscon- 
ceptions which have spread, too, in 
ranks that claim to be academic than 
the widely accepted opinion of Jewish 
intellectual narrowness and self-compla- 
cency. Jewish thought in the long sweep 
of centuries is held to have been rigid, 
exclusive, wholly uninfluenced by the cur- 
rents of each age as fixed and unyield- 
ing as the fabled statue of Memnon, but 
responsive to no melody at each success- 
ive sunrise in the world's advance. In 
other words, it is claimed that there has 
been no intellectual development, in its 
proper sense, in Jewry, that sterile and 
rudimentary conditions have ever pre- 
vailed, and its Jericho of torpidity and 
ecclesiasticism has refused to fall, despite 
all the trumpet-calls of enlightenment. 

Now, the slow rise of the most rational 
opinions is a disheartening blow to the 
over-ardent lover of mankind. Is it so 
very long ago since it was stoutly believed 
that heretics had tails, or that there was 
some dim connection between a Quaker's 
conference and a rainy sky? The pop- 

ular verdict as to the Jew shows as sur- 
prising logic. There has been nothing 
too absurd to say about him a privi- 
lege he shares with priests, princes, wo- 
men, and lawyers. He could not be in 
better company, only the lash cuts deeper 
in his case when the only fact exceptional 
about him has been the treatment he has 
received from his lords and masters, as if 
he were half criminal, half clown. 

It is hardly the present purpose to 
enter into any consideration of the causes 
and conditions which have led to such 
fallacies of judgment. Some of these, 
doubtless, can be traced to the Jew him- 
self, to his tenacity of belief and scorn of 
consequences. An uncompromising re- 
ligionist is apt to arouse more dislike in 
certau^ minds than a man who is a 
"musn of concession." Unconsciously, 
there is often an unlovely aggressiveness 
in your man of resolute faith, especially 
when his tent is pitched among children 
of darkness. If this has been the Jew's 
attitude, he would only have to blame 
himself for the burdens which he has 


The Jew and the Currents of his Age 

borne. But just as the Ghetto was no 
original Jewish creation, being forced 
upon the Jew from without by conditions 
beyond his wish and control, so this 
familiar theory of an intellectual Ghetto 
with its accompaniments its disdain 
of its age, its contempt of any vision out- 
side of the synagogue, its limitless self- 
satisfaction, its conceit and arrogance fc- 
this view which dies" so hard, is wholly 
un- Jewish and unhistorical. 

Forces, it is true, have existed in Jewry, 
taking their cue from the environment, 
which from time to time have striven to 
produce a rigid cast of thought and action, 
with threats of the ban, if not the thumb- 
screw, the thunder, if not the lightning, 
of church tyranny. There is little doubt, 
for example, that the almost contem- 
poraneous condemnation of Descartes' 
writings by the Synod of Dordrecht was 
largely responsible for the excommuni- 
cation of Spinoza by the Amsterdam 
rabbinical authorities. Yet the genius of 
the Jew as reflected in the varied activi- 
ties of his best and most representative 
thinkers, from the era of Isaiah, has 
sought as persistently to break the yoke, 
to catch a wider rift in God's sky, a 
broader inspiration, and that without any 
color of disloyalty but with the fullest 
reverence for the ancient religion. 

No wonder that the Exodus has been 
regarded as Judaism's most significant 
point of departure, its most distinctive 
festival, for it has served as the very 
keynote of emancipation, an everlasting 
spirit-call for freedom, even in centuries 
when serfdom and degradation were 
among the inalienable privileges of man. 
In fact, the close mantle which apparently 
he delighted to wear in certain inflam- 
mable eras was due more to the instinct 
of self-preservation than to any innate 
exclusiveness. It is not narrowness of 
view to guard one's home against infec- 
tion. There was never too much rose- 
water atmosphere in court and camp. 

Although conditions thus had a ten- 
dency to keep the Jew in a kind of quar- 
antine, Jewish thought has not been 

impervious to external influences. There 
has been a steady interrelation between 
Jewish and non-Jewish streams of opin- 
ion, points of contact at certain periods 
of profound consequence in the history 
of civilization. The Jewish mind has 
been "open to impressions, it has recog- 
nized its duty to its age, and has been no 
laggard in the work of human advance- 
ment, in which its interest has been as 
keen and impassioned as it is to-day. 

An early, and in many respects a 
classic, example of the readiness of the 
Jew to widen his horizon is afforded by 
the story of Philo and the Alexandrian 
school. When Alexander founded his fa- 
mous city (332 B. c.), a Jewish colony was 
among the earliest settlers, and it did not 
take them many years to become so in- 
fluenced by their environment as to write 
Greek with the fluency of an Athenian. 
In the more or less favorable conditions 
that prevailed for a considerable period 
under Alexander's immediate successors, 
they were Greek citizens without los- 
ing their religious identity. Soon there 
sprang up among them a school of writ- 
ers, poets, dramatists, historians, who 
were not the least eminent leaders in lit- 
erature and philosophy. Philo may be 
taken as the typical thinker of his time, 
and he is always termed Philo Judseus. 
Greek was then largely the vernacular of 
the synagogue, and Homer, Plato, Aris- 
totle, and the Stoics were as much read 
by young Israel as the Pentateuch, the 
Psalms, the Prophets of Judsea. 

Philo, about whose life only scanty de- 
tails are preserved, could not have been 
a more loyal Jew, with greater reverence 
for his religion and firmer attachment to 
his special community, in whose defense 
he participated in an embassy to Rome. 
Yet he was broad enough to see goodness 
elsewhere, and he strove to fuse the wis- 
dom of the Greek with the faith of the 
Hebrew, not from any desire to abandon 
his traditions, but to show their adapt- 
ability in a cultured age. Whether his 
system of allegory was a success or not, 
and whether his philosophy was accepted 

The Jew and the Currents of his Age 


or not by his brethren in the flesh, these 
are inquiries absolutely secondary to the 
main issue that a man like Philo, with 
his character, training, and standing, 
could feel the necessity of reconciling his 
faith with current tendencies without 
being less a Jew. That he was rejected 
by his people, who preferred the inter- 
pretation of Palestine to that of Athens 
or Alexandria, and that his writings owe 
then* preservation to the Christian Fa- 
thers, with undoubted influence on the 
early theology of the Church, do not in- 
validate the position assumed. Certainly 
the point of contact in those centuries 
might have led to far-reaching conse- 
quences, if Roman supremacy had not 
precipitated a catastrophe which scat- 
tered philosophy to the winds and made 
the Jew only draw his cloak closer around 

A no less suggestive cross-fertilization 
of ideas took place in Spain when the 
caliphs founded their schools and gave 
such a marked impetus to the advance- 
ment of knowledge. Here the receptivity 
of the Jewish mind, its plastic character, 
its readiness to unfold and expand in a 
genial atmosphere, could not have been 
more superbly and convincingly illus- 
trated. Long ages of devotion to study, 
which began in the home circle as the 
young child was taught the meaning of 
his religion and its symbols, " Thou 
shalt teach them diligently to thy chil- 
dren!" reads the olden command, this 
has predisposed him to the pursuit of 
learning. Under the Moslem ruler, and 
later under the Christian kings until the 
era of relentless persecutions changec^the 
scholar's pen into the pilgrim's staff, a 
distinguished coterie of thinkers were 
spurred on to independent research, and 
Arabic, in turn, became in a measure 
the synagogue's vernacular, while Jewish 
writers competed ardently with their 
Moslem contemporaries in literary skill. 

It is beyond our present scope to al- 
lude to the Jew's versatility, which made 
him now a caliph's grand vizier, now a 
translator into Arabic of priceless works, 

as well as merchant, scientist, trader. To 
restrict one's self to the field of religious 
philosophical thought in particular, the 
point of contact was marked. So keen 
was the rivalry, so susceptible the Jewish 
mind, that, to quote the words of the late 
Professor David Kaufmann, of Budapest, 
in some respects the most erudite writer 
in his line for many decades, " Every 
more important achievement in the do- 
main of Arabic philosophy was noticed, 
examined, utilized by Jews; the appear- 
ance of a new Arabic work was usually 
followed by its Jewish imitator." Al- 
though Dr. Kaufmann insists that this 
imitativeness does not imply slavish de- 
pendence, it shows none the less an in- 
tellectual openness in the most important 
of all branches to the Jew that of 
religious philosophy. 

The men, too, who were influenced 
so markedly by current thought were the 
sweet singers of the synagogue poets 
and moralists of the stamp of Gabirol 
and Judah Halle vi, esteemed the glory 
of mediaeval Israel. Nor did they lose 
aught of fame. Their works are still 
retained in the traditional ritual and on 
the solemn days, so broad after all is the 
synagogue, which took its cue from the 
sages who formed the Old Testament 
Canon. These included the Song of 
Songs as well as the Proverbs, Ecclesi- 
astes as well as the Psalms, as if they 
meant to symbolize the light and shade, 
the joy and sorrow in human existence, 
in the composite character of the Bib- 
lical books. 

It is Maimonides (born at Cordova, 
1137; died at Cairo, 1204) who presents, 
perhaps, the most salient example of 
Jewish adaptiveness in those centuries. 
He was the " eagle of the synagogue," 
the sage par excellence, of vast industry 
and extensive knowledge, judging from 
his exhaustive works. Yet this scholar of 
scholars, this profound rabbinical author- 
ity, whose condensed creed of Judaism, 
termed " the Thirteen Principles," is 
accepted practically throughout the Jew- 
ish world, exclusive of some American 

The Jew and the Currents of his Age 


congregations, this man of all men set 
himself the task of reconciling revealed 
religion and Greek-Arabic philosophy. 
In other words, he saw the necessity of 
harmonizing the old and the new, and 
deemed current tendencies serious and 
divine enough to impel him to write his 
famous Guide of the Perplexed. This 
work, originally in Arabic, but now trans- 
lated into various tongues, left its dis- 
tinct mark on contemporary thought, 
furnishing ideas to later ages, from the 
Schoolmen to Spinoza. 

Here, too, the main question is not 
whether this work is still of service, or 
whether its standpoint is hopelessly an- 
tiquated, with the disappearance of Aris- 
totelianism in modern philosophy. The 
real fact for consideration is that a Jew- 
ish authority like Maimonides freely ab- 
sorbed the views of his age, and was 
broad and open enough to attempt to 
reconcile current thought with his tradi- 
tional faith, Aristotle and Moses. It 
is true, his work was regarded as heret- 
ical by a few prominent rabbis, and his 
adherents and opponents in later years 
had sharp feuds of their own. But he 
had written his book and given an ex- 
ample to his people, even if, like other 
thinkers of other climes and creeds, he 
was a solitary peak above the plain. Yet 
he was not entirely alone there were 
other minds that absorbed as keenly. 
Then came the ravages of the Black 
Death and shameless persecutions, which 
again robbed the philosopher of his calm 
idealism, and made the Jew once more 
a helpless wanderer. 

The Renaissance movement, with the 
spread of Humanism, was welcomed by 
the Jew as marking almost as Messianic 
an era as the French Revolution and the 
century of emancipation in its train. 
Here the point of contact was peculiar, 
for, instead of opposing the new ideas 
and ideals, he met them half-way and 
gladly opened his treasures of learning to 
advance their growth. That was none 
the less a period of cruel repression, and 
the exiles from Spain found it hard to 

gain a safe foothold anywhere in Europe. 
Yet the Jew could not have been more 
responsive to the currents of his time, 
when a Reuchlin could become his pupil 
in Hebrew, and the disciples of Elias 
Levita could introduce Hebrew studies 
into Germany. Elias del Medigo was not 
averse to be selected as umpire by war- 
ring factions in the University of Padua, 
while other Jewish teachers at the uni- 
versities gave freely of their wisdom as 
their highest duty towards their age. 

The Jew was to be borne swiftly along 
the stream of a movement which was 
to be followed by the Reformation. He 
might have been excused had he held 
aloof, but his passion for knowledge must 
have vent. He became poet, Imman- 
uel of Rome was a friend of Dante, 
philosopher, astronomer, mathematician, 
in his enthusiasm. He gained fresh cour- 
age in the new atmosphere, and accom- 
panied Columbus on his voyage, Vasco 
da Gama on his distant quest. He was 
among the earliest to see the possibilities 
of the printing-press, which was to spread 
also his literature, never designed to be 
a sealed book, but whose study was his 
highest duty. He could develop, too, into 
an ambassador from Turkey to the Vene- 
tian republic. In the flourishing mercan- 
tile states of mediaBval Italy he could play 
an active role, and his sphere was not 
restricted to finance but extended to the 
handicrafts as well. He was quick to 
utilize every invention and to promote 
every industry, whenever the political 
laws allowed his freedom of choice and 
some certainty of tenure, and did not 
limit his vision to old clothes and the 

No religious scruple stood in the 
way, nor any traditional barrier to pre- 
vent his imparting of knowledge to the 
stranger without the gates, for he recalled 
the treasured opinion of one of his early 
fathers: "A non -Israelite who occupies 
himself with the law of God stands in the 
same rank as the high priest." No won- 
der Reuchlin's heart could go out to his 
teachers as he defended Hebrew litera- 

The Jew and the Currents of his Age 


tore from the malice of the obscurantists. 
So close, then, was the connection be- 
tween the era preparatory to the Reform- 
ation and the teachers of the Humanists, 
without whose pioneer work, perhaps, 
Luther might have less signally tri- 

These instances of Jewish participa- 
tion in the great movements of history 
might readily be extended, and it might 
easily be shown how the activity spread 
to other lines besides religious thought, 
as can be observed to-day in every civil- 
ized land. If the objection is interposed 
that the illustrations are individual and 
cannot be regarded as characteristic of 
the race, one might as well deny to Isaiah, 
to Micah, to the Psalmist, the claim of 
being Jewish and representative of Jew- 
ish thought. To have produced such 
broad genius, such impressionable minds, 
there must have been always a central 
fire in the heart of the Jewish race which 
leaped upward exultantly when the 
moment was propitious, a storehouse 
of sympathy for humanity in its widest 
sense, and for human progress, which 
could be utilized by prophet or sage. 

Among truly typical thinkers there was 
ever cherished a larger hope, a wider in- 
spiration, which was not the idle cry of a 
child for a star but the deep impassioned 
yearning for human perfection and uni- 
versal brotherhood as the goal to which 
law and statute, symbol and ceremony 
pointed. How pitiful that outside pres- 
sure, unrighteous conditions in church 
and state, have made the Jew's history a 
continuous tragedy and maimed him at 
times almost beyond recognition, so that 
often the caricature was taken for reality. 
Yet the miracle of resurrection was ever 
there, the blossom beneath the snow, the 
love of humanity which was unconquer- 
able under every affliction. In the world's 
welfare he read and felt his own welfare. 
He knew he would not wear forever his 
gaberdine. He could bide his time. The 
day must break, the shadows pass away. 
The sword would change into the plough- 
share, the bitter taunt into brotherly love. 

Let suffering be the badge of the tribe 

Till the world is wrought 
To sympathy with hopes and fears it heeded 

What of the relation of the Jew to 
American life and ideals ? Here his plas- 
tic quality has been illustrated in the 
work of representative men and women 
in every epoch, from the Colonial through 
that of the Revolution, and in the Civil 
and Spanish-American Wars. There is 
something divine in the American at- 
mosphere, which causes Old-World ran- 
cors and prejudices to weaken and lose 
much of their keen edge under its influ- 
ence. In the demands of American life, 
in the .strain and spur of competition, 
with the closer contact enforced by school 
and shop, mill and factory, the creeds, 
consciously or unconsciously, are affected 
as never before, and the Jew, like the 
rest, is broadened by his environment. 
He enters gladly into the currents of his 
time whether he becomes a pioneer in 
Alaska or an up-builder in California, as 
he rears his department store in the great 
cities or plans his philanthropies without 
distinction of creed. He upholds the new 
education, is among the investigators in. 
science, defends the public schools, is 
active in movements for civic betterment, 
and whether Democrat or Republican, 
feels the stir of his age. He is as proud 
of his Americanism as are the little child- 
ren of the emigrant in the intoxication 
of their first flag-drill. Patriotism is to 
the American Jew a part of his religion, 
as was shown in the days of '76 and '61, 
and in the recent war with Spain, when 
even the Rough Riders had their Jewish 

Nor is the Jew less in touch with 
American ideals; they sound curiously 
familiar, for did not his fathers hear 
the slogan of old, "proclaim liberty 
throughout the land and to all the in- 
habitants thereof " ? America spells free- 
dom under the law, as does Judaism. 
The American ethical standards are the 
old-fashioned ones of justice and moral- 
ity, public and private virtue, even if 

14 Evensong 

these for the time are somewhat obscured in life and thought, in sympathies and 

by prevalent graft and greed. And has achievement. To-day America means 

not Theodore Roosevelt been termed a more to the Jew than to any one else, for 

later Hebrew prophet ? Why should not it is the only land that opens wide its 

the American Jew be at one with his gates to the persecuted and the down- 

country and its ideals, and be aroused to trodden. He and his children can never 

his best as the years advance ? No Ghetto forget their obligation in return, as loy- 

has stained the American soil; no foul ally, modestly, and helpfully they do 

bigotry to deny the Jew the rights of their part in realizing the ideals of our 

man. He will be spurred on to breadth Republic. 



BEAUTY calls and gives no warning, 

Shadows rise and wander on the day. 

In the twilight, in the quiet evening 

We shall rise and smile and go away. 

Over the flaming leaves 

Freezes the sky. 

It is the season grieves, 

Not you, not I. 

All our springtimes, all our summers, 

We have kept the longing warm within. 

Now we leave the after-comers 

To attain the dreams we did not win. 

O we have wakened, Sweet, and had our birth, 

And that 's the end of earth; 

And we have toiled and smiled and kept the light, 

And that's the end of night. 



MADAME ARVILLA had a great repu- 
tation in the gay seaside city. All day 
long her patrons walked in and out of her 
little office on the Board Walk. A tiny 
place it was, for rents were high; a nar- 
row room if indeed it could be called 
a room ; a booth, rather, just wide enough 
to afford space for a person to walk care- 
fully between the chairs on each side; 
only half a dozen chairs in all, for the 
space was short as well as narrow, and 
the farther end was cut off by a screen. 
Pushing past the screen, one came to the 
inner sanctum where Madame was accus- 
tomed to sit, in a low chair with a small 
table in front of her. A similar chair on 
the opposite side accommodated the cus- 
tomer. Palmistry was Madame Arvilla's 
specialty. Of the mysteries of clairvoy- 
ance she maintained that she knew no- 
thing; yet there were those who came 
away declaring that only clairvoyance 
could explain the remarkable things 
which she had told them. 

There was nothing of the conventional 
sorceress in her appearance. She was a 
stoutish, middle-aged woman of benign 
aspect, who looked like some good, mo- 
therly soul from the rural districts. There 
was about her a wholesome homeliness, 
and in her speech a certain terseness and 
directness, although in accent and lan- 
guage she showed herself to be a person 
of some education. As a fortune-teller 
on the Board Walk she was an anomaly. 
But her gray eyes were extraordinarily 
keen and her manner was businesslike; 
and, for that matter, the Board Walk 
holds many anomalies. 

There she sat, month in and month 
out, reading hands at a dollar a sitting. 
In the winter and spring her clientele 
was mostly respectable; in the summer 
it was quite likely to be the reverse; for 

thus the hotel population varied with the 
changing seasons. To her, seated behind 
her little table, her visitors broadly re- 
solved themselves into two classes : those 
who wanted her to tell them all that she 
saw or fancied she saw in their hands, 
and those who desired her to use a cer- 
tain discretion. As she was wont to ex- 
press it : "In April and May they mostly 
want me to tell them the truth, but along 
in July and August they want me to be 
careful what I say." But respectable or 
disreputable, she was interested in them 
all, for the study of human nature was 
not only her livelihood, but her unfailing 
entertainment her dissipation indeed, 
as she sometimes said to herself. Usually, 
with an eye to business, she made her 
diagnosis as flattering as might be. That 
is, she avoided mentioning some unplea- 
sant things which she saw or divined; yet 
she had been known to tell startling home 
truths, to utter warnings and to give good, 
practical advice. There had even been 
occasions when she had not belied the 
impression which her appearance gave 
of a person to whom one might appeal 
in trouble; but in those rare cases she 
scarcely let her left hand know what her 
right hand did ; for, after all, she had her 
living to make, and benevolence is not 

Her benevolence had never before car- 
ried her so far as on the occasion when, 
locking up her office and foregoing two 
days' profits, she took Christine home to 
her father. In fact, when she found her- 
self on the railway train she wondered at 
her own impulsiveness and was inclined 
to call herself a fool. But certainly Henry 
Barton's daughter had a peculiar claim 
on her. Christine had visited her only 
twice, the first time accompanied by Ros- 
siter. Madame Arvilla never forgot the 



Madame Arvilla 

astonishing vision of radiant, youthful 
beauty which she presented as, pushing 
aside the screen, she entered the dusky 
little office and seated herself in the 
low chair, laughing lightly a laugh as 
care-free and irresponsible as a child's. 
Madame Arvilla disliked Rossiter at first 
sight, and although at that time she knew 
nothing about either of them, she tried, 
while studying the lines of the girl's 
hands, to warn her of the dangers to 
which her temperament as well as her 
beauty exposed her; a warning which 
was received with entire carelessness. It 
bore unexpected fruit, however, for when 
the moment of danger and perplexity 
came, the palmist was the only person to 
whom Christine ventured to turn. 

" Well," she said, as, entering the 
office, she seated herself once more in the 
low chair, " some of your horrid things 
came true and I almost feel as if you had 
made them come true by saying them. 
So now perhaps you can tell me what to 
do next." Her words were flippant, but 
her cheeks were deeply flushed and tears 
came to her eyes. 

"It was the man?" asked Madame 

" Oh, yes, it was the man. He was 
dreadful." She laid her hands, palms 
upward, on the table. " Can't you see 
what is going to become of me now ? " 
she asked. 

Madame Arvilla smiled. " There are 
limits to what I can see," she said. " You 
had better tell me about it, I think." 

For a moment it seemed difficult for 
Christine to find the right words. " Oh," 
she said at last, " he likes me very much 
too much, and of course his wife does n't 
like it. She made it impossible for me to 
stay. And then he proposed horrid things 
that of course I could n't do, so I thought 
I'd better run away. I don't know what 
to do next and I thought of you. I don't 
know another soul here. And you told 
me so much that I thought perhaps you 
could tell me more." 

Having delivered herself of this ex- 
planation, she wiped her eyes and leaned 

back, with the disengaged air of one who 
has to a certain extent divested herself of 

Madame Arvilla gazed at her with 
mingled dismay and curiosity. " Were 
n't you frightened when he proposed 
things that you could n't do ? " she asked. 
" Why, I did n't have to do them," 
said the girl ingenuously. " And he is 
awfully fond of me," she added indul- 

" And you were staying with them ? " 
" Oh, I came as the children's gov- 
erness. Mrs. Rossiter and I were great 
friends. She spent a summer in the town 
where I lived and it was the only way 
I could get away from home." 
" And you had to leave home ? " 
" Oh, I could n't stand it! " exclaimed 
the girl. " Such a hateful little country 
town, and my father thinks everything 
nice is wicked. He's a minister, you 
know. Every minute I spent there was 
a waste of time. I had to get away." 

" And now the only thing to do is to go 
back," said Madame Arvilla. " That is 
as simple as can be." 

" Not at all," said the girl. " I don't 
suppose my father will have me. He said 
that I shouldn't leave, you see, so I 
ran away. He wrote me one letter that 
I thought very unkind, and since then we 
haven't had anything to do with each 

" And have you no mother ? " 
" She died when I was a baby." 
This, reflected Madame Arvilla, was 
one of the cases where she was called 
upon to act, and she had decided to see 
that the girl was restored to her father 
even before further questioning had 
elicited the fact that Christine was the 
daughter of Henry Barton, and that the 
" hateful little town " was her own na- 
tive place : the place associated with the 
recollections of her childhood and with 
the romance of her youth; the place of 
all others which she remembered with 
affection and revisited in her dreams. 

As for Christine, she thought it odd 
that Madame Arvilla should have known 

Madame Arvilla 


her father, and very good of her to take 
so much trouble; but for her part, she 
was sorry to go back. " Is n't there any- 
thing else I can do ? " she asked plaint- 

" You can't possibly do anything else," 
replied Madame Arvilla. 

" How dreadfully decided you are," 
remonstrated Christine. Then she 
laughed her light laugh. " At any rate 
Mr. Rossiter will be surprised. He won't 
know what has become of me and I hope 
they'll both worry." 

" What an astonishing child for Henry 
Barton to have! " was Arvilla' s mental 

When they looked out of the car win- 
dow in the morning, a smiling landscape 
met their view: low, undulating hills 
checkered with parti -colored fields, some 
vividly green, others still showing brown 
between the furrows; here and there a 
patch of woodland or a group of fine 
trees. A tame landscape certainly; but 
Madame Arvilla gazed at it with the 
swelling heart of the home-coming exile. 
As they drew near the village and she 
noted one familiar landmark after an- 
other, her eyes filled. Looking at Chris- 
tine through a mist, she saw that the girl 
was wiping away tears. " After all, she 
has some natural feeling," thought the 
woman, and leaning forward, she laid her 
hand gently on the girl's hand. At this 
mark of sympathy Christine sniffed 

" Is n't it too horrid ? " she said. " Oh, 
how I do hate this place! And you've 
made me come back to it. Why could n't 
I stay .with you, Madame Arvilla, and 
learn to tell fortunes ? " 

Madame Arvilla laughed as she wiped 
her eyes surreptitiously. " By the way," 
she said, " you can call me Mrs. Simp- 
son now. Not but what Arvilla is my 
name too. It's my Christian name, and I 
thought it answered better for my pro- 

" Much better," agreed Christine. 
" We'd better not say anything about 
the palmistry before father," she added. 
VOL. 102 -NO. 1 

" He is n't very broad-minded, you 

Arvilla winced a little even while she 
smiled, and there was a silence, broken 
at length by the girl. 

" I suppose I shall marry Geoffrey," 
she said discontentedly, ** and goodness 
knows I don't want to." 

" And who is Geoffrey ? " 

The girl's face dimpled. " He's just 
Solid Worth in every sense of the word. 
He bores me, and his family bore me, 
and father would be delighted." 

" Go on," said Madame Arvilla, glad 
to be diverted from her own thoughts. 
" Tell me all about Geoffrey." 

" Oh, well, he and his relations are the 
pillars of my father's church. They think 
most things are wicked. They have heaps 
of money and don't spend it except a 
little on missionaries. I'd have to go to 
church on Sundays in a nice thick silk 
dress, and to prayer-meetings on week- 
day evenings in second-best. I'd never 
be allowed to dance or play cards any 
more than I am now, but I'd make calls 

lots of them. And dinner at one and 
tea at six all the rest of my life." 

" Then why marry him ? " 

" Now do you really suppose I can 
keep quiet and not do anything at all ? " 
asked the girl with exasperation. 

" No, I certainly don't," said Madame 

" Besides, Geoffrey is rather nice him- 
self, and he cares for me a great deal. 
And if I have n't anything else to do I'm 
afraid I might forget his surroundings 
long enough to marry him. But I'd cer- 
tainly find I had married his surround- 
ings too, for he is n't his own master, 
poor Geoffrey." 

" But don't be in such a hurry. You 
need n't settle your whole life to-day. Do 
try to believe that to-morrow is coming 

and more to-morrows after it." 

" If I could stay with you," declared 
Christine, "perhaps I could behave. 
You are not so terribly serious." 

Meantime the train was drawing up 
to the station. " Here we are! " ex- 


Madame Arvilla 

claimed Arvilla. " And Christine, I'm 
sure your father will be glad to see you. 
Do be a little glad to see him.'* 

Christine shrugged her shoulders. " I 
could be," she said, " but I know him 
better than you do." 

When Henry Barton held out his arms 
to his daughter his agitation would have 
touched her more if it had not over- 
whelmed her with embarrassment. As it 
was, she experienced a shame-faced emo- 
tion, and when released from his em- 
brace made all haste to fly to her room, 
where, to her great surprise, she at once 
burst into tears. 

At first sight, Arvilla thought him 
little changed. The slight stoop, the 
thinning of the hair on his temples, and 
the lines on his face merely accentuated 
his type, which had always been that of 
the refined, ascetic Puritan parson of the 
old school. On the other hand, it was at 
first somewhat difficult for him to recog- 
nize in her the Arvilla of the old days, 
until her voice bridged the chasm, when 
he presently forgot that he had noticed 
any great change. She had dreaded the 
moment of explanation, but Henry, ap- 
prehensive though he might be of the 
allurements of the world, the flesh and 
the Devil, was, after all, not of a sus- 
picious nature, and was too unversed in 
the ways of the world to picture its dan- 
gers except in a large and general way. 
So she told him only as much of Chris- 
tine's adventures as she thought best; 
and if he fancied that his child's heart 
had turned to him and that she had come 
back of her own accord, why, so much 
the better, thought Arvilla. 

On his part, warmed by gratitude to 
her and encouraged by her sympathy, 
he was moved, for the first time since he 
had known the doubtful joys and heavy 
responsibilities of fatherhood, to unbur- 
den his heart of all his anxieties and 
perplexities. Evidently he had been a 
painfully conscientious parent, stifling 
his affection and giving his sense of duty 
free play. And now he was wondering 
where he had failed. 

" She has a light nature," he said, 
" but I have labored over her without 

" Poor Christine! " was Arvilla's men- 
tal ejaculation. Aloud she said, " You 
have taken her too seriously. That is 
just the trouble." 

" Can one take an immortal soul too 
seriously ? " he asked reproachfully. 

" You must fit your tools to your mate- 
rial. If she is a butterfly, you must 
handle her as a butterfly." 

He only sighed and shook his head in 
a discouraged way. Arvilla had already 
realized that he was more changed than 
she had at first supposed. Narrow, pre- 
judiced, and dogmatic he had always 
been; but ardent, a fiery combatant, 
ready to defend his position, good or 
bad, with vehemence. Now there seemed 
hardly a glow left in the ashes, so sub- 
dued and weary was his aspect. He had 
gained in tolerance, perhaps, but it was 
at the cost of all his old enthusiasm. Her 
suggestion that he should try to provide 
some amusement for the girl, he met help- 
lessly. " A girl is so hard to understand," 
he said. 

Arvilla had intended to leave in the 
afternoon, but Henry begged her to spend 
at least one night under his roof, and she 
yielded. She always looked back to this 
as the strangest day she had ever spent. 
This was the parsonage where he and 
she had expected to live. There on the 
marble-topped centre-table in the stiff 
little parlor was the alabaster model of 
the Leaning Tower of Pisa, which some 
one had given Henry and which they used 
to say was the first thing they had toward 
housekeeping. When she went into the 
dining-room she recalled the tablecloths 
and napkins which she had hemmed; 
and there was the bay window which had 
been built for them and which she had 
planned to keep filled with blossoming 
plants. There were plants in it now, 
tended by the minister's old servant. But 
when she saw Christine's bedroom she 
thought, " My child's room would have 
been prettier." 

Madame Ar villa 


It was not until evening that she went 
into the minister's study. Geoffrey had 
come to see Christine, and the parlor 
was left to the young people, in country 
fashion. The night was chilly, and in 
the study a fire had been kindled on the 
hearth and two armchairs were drawn 
up before it. Arvilla looked about the 
room. This, then, was Henry's study, 
the place where he really lived. Her 
glance lingered on the bookshelves, filled 
with serious volumes, on the old writing 
table, shabby in its appointments, but 
neat in its arrangement, and on the 
leather-seated chair in front of it. They 
sat down before the fire and at first were 
somewhat silent. They had already ex- 
changed such confidences as are usual on 
the meeting of old friends with, to be 
sure, important omissions on Arvilla's 
part; for she knew his point of view, 
and why should she spoil the comfort of 
one short day? For the moment it was 
pleasant to sit without talking. 

As of old, his mood had lightened 
in the comfortable atmosphere of her 
cheerful and equable temperament, until 
now he seemed somewhat more like 
his former self, but gentler than he 
had been in the old days. It was of 
course impossible that both should not 
be struck by this phantasmal fulfillment 
of their early visions of fireside compan- 
ionship; but whereas Arvilla thought of 
it half humorously, half tenderly, as a 
mere curious episode, Henry found a 
strange new hope springing up in his 
heart. His familiar room had taken on 
an unaccustomed aspect of homelikeness 
with Arvilla sitting opposite him, and 
now that he had seen her there he thought 
that it would never again seem like 
home without her. The old disagree- 
ments looked inexpressibly unimportant 
to him, and his former attitude toward 
them now seemed petty and obstinate. 
He thought of his child, whose heart, 
always closed to him, had opened to her 
at a touch ; he thought of his people, with 
whom he found it more and more diffi- 
cult to get on a footing of confidence. In 

Arvilla he found the solution of all his 
difficulties, all his enigmas. Possibilities 
of a new life opened before him. 

Arvilla was too versed in the study of 
human nature to remain unconscious of 
what was passing in his mind. " Poor 
Henry," she said to herself, " he is be- 
ginning to care for me again." 

A woman is never too old to be touched 
by the faithfulness of an old lover, and 
Henry had been her first love, as she had 
been his. She regarded him with tender- 
ness, though without illusions; and to 
her surprise, she found herself tempted. 
What warmth of comfort and affection 
she could bring into his lonely and color- 
less life. How successful a stepmother 
she could be to Christine, and how she 
would enjoy it. And, yes, what happiness 
for herself in the satisfaction of her in- 
nate longing for the peaceful joys of the 
domestic hearth. Viewed by the light of 
the study fire, the office on the Board 
Walk seemed a cheerless place, and she 
found herself suddenly tired of the study 
of unresponsive humanity. The pastor's 
flock would be a welcome exchange for 
her clients. Her old contentment was 
broken up. Then she pulled herself up 
sharply. She had no mind to deceive 
Henry, even if it were possible to do so 
for long; and she knew that her profes- 
sion would be anathema maranatha to 

But meantime Henry had made his re- 
solution. His fear lest she should vanish 
once more into a world where perhaps 
he might lose" her, overcame the principle 
which he had laid down for himself in 
earlier years as a bulwark against his 
impetuous impulses, of prefacing any im- 
portant action by a season of prayer and 
meditation. He found delay unbearable, 
and it was with something of his old 
ardor that he asked her to marry him. 
The suddenness of it took her by sur- 
prise, and she hesitated. She was aware 
that the judicious course would be to 
refuse him without explanation, but for 
once she did not feel capable of being 
judicious. She was possessed by a desire 

Madame Arvilla 

to have it out with him and see what 
would come of it. 

"You know very little about me of late 
years," she said. 

" No, but I can see what the years 
have done for you," he answered. 

" I told you that I made my own liv- 

" Yes, and I respect you for it. You 
need not think that I care how humble 
your calling may have been. It has been 
blessed to you. When I see you, after all 
your trials, brave, cheerful, free from 
bitterness, I blush to remember the su- 
perior attitude which I assumed in the 
old days." 

This was a tribute indeed, and ap- 
pealed to her sense of humor at the same 
time that it touched her. " Wait! " she 
said. " My business has n't been so 
dreadfully humble, but I'm afraid you 
have a prejudice against it." 

"What is it then?" 

" I am a palmist." 

"A what?" 

*' You might call it a branch of psy- 
chology. I read the lines of the hand." 

** Arvilla! Don't jest with me now." 
He stared at her in bewildered dismay. 

" I should n't dream of jesting. I 
make my living that way." 

" I don't think I understand you. You 
surely are not telling me that you are a 
mere fortune-teller you I " 

" Perhaps you would call it that." 

" And that you make your living by 
trading on the credulity of fools ? " His 
bewilderment was giving way to the deep 
indignation of the man who feels himself 

" Not quite so fast! " said Arvilla, 
flushing. Then she sighed. " Perhaps 
I ought to have explained in the very be- 
ginning," she said, " but I could hardly 
hope to make you understand and I 
never expected to see you again after to- 
day. Now I am going to tell you the 
whole story. I was very poor when my 
husband died. I was alone in a big town 
we had just moved there and I had 
two little children to support. I tried 

everything I could get do you suppose 
I cared how humble it was ? But I could 
n't earn enough to make them comfort- 
able. There were times when I had to see 
them go hungry. Then one day this came 
into my head. I had once studied palm- 
istry enough to play the gypsy at fairs, 
and people used to say jokingly that I 
might make my fortune that way. It was 
the last resort and it succeeded. Then, 
when the children died and I felt as if I 
had no interest in life, it gave me an inter- 
est, and so I went on and of course it 
was my livelihood too." 

The minister looked deeply distressed. 
" How, after that, could you possibly 
continue to keep up the imposture ? " he 

" But it is n't imposture. I want you 
to understand that. I keep my share of 
the bargain. I tell them all that I under- 
take to tell them." 

" What can you tell them? " 
" Their peculiarities; things that have 
happened to them people love to be 
told what they know already if it's about 
themselves; and of course, future possi- 
bilities, dangers to avoid, things to hope 
for, warnings and advice even some- 
times something like prophecy." 
" You ask me to believe this ? " 
V I am telling you the truth." 
" You can't possibly believe in it your- 

" I suppose you would say, if I don't, 
it is fraud; and if I do, it's the Devil. 
Well, I'm not a Witch of Endor, but I 
do believe in it, though I hardly know 
how I do it. There really is something 
in the lines of the hand however you 
may shake your head. And then people 
tell me more than they think, with 
their faces and gestures and the words 
they let drop. And sometimes when I 
take a person's hand in mine, things 
seem to come to me in a queer way 
I'm sure I don't know how. Perhaps 
the chief thing is that people interest me 
so. Don't you remember how fond I 
always was of just mere human beings, 
and how we used to say what a useful 

Madame Arvilla 

trait it would be in a minister's wife ? " 

" I remember." The minister's voice 
vibrated with an emotion which Arvilla 
did not stop to analyze. 

" I try to do some good in the world," 
she went on, " and I have more oppor- 
tunities than you would think. Some- 
times it 's a girl or a boy in trouble, and 
a little advice helps and sometimes 
well, I suppose there isn't a wickeder 
place in the United States than the Board 
Walk in summer, and when I think it's 
worth while I speak out plainly. And 
when it comes to scaring them about 
their sins, why, Henry, you're not in it 
with me. You preach the wrath to come, 
but after all, preaching is pretty general. 
The thing that tells is to go into detail. 
When I, an utter stranger, look into "a 
person's hand and say, * You've done 
this or that,' something they think 
nobody knows but themselves, 'and if 
you don't look out you 're going to do 
something worse * and tell them what 
it is they're going to do I can tell you, 
it gives them a turn. Perhaps it does n't 
do any good, but who knows ? " 

She spoke with evident conviction, and 
the minister, who had listened with his 
eyes intently fixed on her, now rose to his 
feet and began pacing up and down the 
room. How often had she seen him jump 
up and pace the floor in the heat of dis- 
cussion! She felt that the old fire was 
rekindled, and that anything she could 
say would be futile; but she could not 
forbear a last word. 

" Of course I knew pretty well how 
you would feel about it," she said, " but 
I have a clear conscience. I feel myself 
to be no worse a woman perhaps bet- 
ter than if I had earned my bread as 
a washerwoman, for instance though 
I would have done that too, for the chil- 
dren, if I could have got it to do." 

He paused in front of her and again 
fixed on her the gaze of his deep-set eyes, 
in whose sombre depths a new fire was 
now burning. She looked at him reflect- 
ively and with something of her habitual 
humorous expression. " Well, I suppose 

we are going to say good-by," she said, 
" and I don't imagine we shall ever meet 
again. But now, as between you and me, 
Henry, do you really think so badly of 
me ? I am the same woman you praised 
a little while ago, and whatever was true 
of me then is just as true of me now." 

She waited a moment for his answer. 
Then he spoke. " Yes, you are the same 
woman," he said. " For you it seems 
possible to lead a Christian life even 
when engaged in an unchristian business. 
Truly, to the pure all things are pure. 
Your palmistry I don't believe in it. 
It is detestable. But I see how you have 
made it serve you as you would have 
made anything else serve you in doing 
good. But you say it is good-by. Is that 
the answer you give me ? " 

" Do you want any other answer ? 
When I said it I thought you disapproved 
of me too much to care to have anything 
more to do with me." 

" I want you to marry me," he said 
vehemently. " I want you to go out into 
the world with me and show me how to 
work for humanity ! " 

" You mean that you would leave this 

" I have stayed here too long. I and 
my people have stagnated together. Once 
it seemed to me that I could ask nothing 
better than to spend my life in the service 
of my own people whom I have known 
from my youth up. There was a time 
when I had calls to other churches, but I 
refused them. Now I know that another 
man might serve my people better. I 
make no impression on them. Nothing 
that I can say goes home. Oh, they like 
me to be impassioned ; it is all part of the 
Sunday entertainment and I can no 
longer speak to them with force. For I 
am tired. I am tired of beating against 
a dead wall. I am tired of the measured 
thrift with which prosperous men provide 
for their souls' salvation. I am tired of 
the women and their church sociables. I 
am sure they are better Christians than 
I am, but I see so much of them! And I 
am ashamed of myself that I have not 


Madame Arvilla 

sooner resigned my place to some man 
who could fill it better. I seemed stupe- 
fied until you came, and I did not know 
how to break away from the tyranny of 
old habit. Now I am alive again." 

Poor Henry, thought Arvilla, how 
bored he has been. And yet he cannot 
understand Christine. 

'* I want to go to a great city," he went 
on. "I want to labor among the poor, 
the wretched, the degraded. I want to 
go where I can feel the beating of men's 
hearts. It is you who have waked me up 
you, with your great love and under- 
standing of humanity. For a long time I 
seem to have been paralyzed. All fresh- 
ness of feeling seemed gone forever and 
I have gone on using mere phrases 
speaking the language which I had been 
taught, but without realizing its meaning. 
I began to think that my God had for- 
saken me." 

He stopped speaking and resumed his 
walk up and down the room. Arvilla's 
eyes followed him. This indeed was the 
Henry of her youth this impetuous 
man with the fiery eyes. The years 
seemed to fall from him as he straight- 
ened his shoulders and held his head 
erect. He was some few years her senior, 
but she, sitting back in her easy chair, 
felt immensely older than he. She looked 
about the room with a rueful smile. For 
her part, she was tired of the turmoil of 
the world. She longed for the sheltered 
quiet of the country parsonage, the very 
parsonage where she and Henry had ex- 

pected to begin life together. She was 
not afraid of being bored by the con- 
gregation. Human nature was as inter- 
esting here as elsewhere; and it would be 
sweet to end her days in her own native 
place. How had it happened that she of 
all people had so stirred Henry up ? 

He came and stood before her again. 
" I am not altogether visionary," he said. 
" I have a little money which my father 
left me. I can take care of you and 

Arvilla reflected comfortably that she 
too had a little money. Well at least 
she would rather work in the slums with 
Henry and make a home for him and 
Christine, than go back to the loneliness 
of the office on the Board Walk. And if 
Henry seemed to be thinking more of the 
interest of a fresh field of work than of her 
personally, why, perhaps she had thought 
almost as much of the old parsonage and 
the little town and Christine as she 
had of him. It was as broad as it was 
long and after all, they were neither 
of them as young as they had been. 

She looked up into his face as he stood 
before her. " Yes, Henry, I will marry 
you," she said. " And I hope I shall 
make you even a little happier than you 

After all, she was mistaken in thinking 
that his ardor was all for his work. He 
stooped and kissed her with surprisingly 
little embarrassment considering that 
they were neither of them as young as 
they had been. 



To personify a nation and to invest it 
with certain definite attributes has always 
been an attractive short-cut to know- 
ledge, and a convenient basis for sweeping 
judgments. It is not surprising that this 
method should have been applied with 
even greater boldness to a whole conti- 
nent, for the infinite variety of Oriental 
life makes patient inquiry exceedingly 
perplexing. Such aphorisms as " The 
East is the East" afford a welcome 
solution, but, it must be confessed, not 
one which will long satisfy the inquiring 
mind, or afford a reliable guidance in po- 
litical action. It may therefore be worth 
while to make some search as to whether 
amid all this diversity of social phenom- 
ena there may actually be discovered a 
bond of unity. Are there elements in 
Oriental life universal and powerful 
enough to constitute a living unity of 
sentiment for the surging multitudes of 
the Orient? What thoughts can they 
summon up which will stir in them such 
feelings as overcome us when we see 
the luminous masterpieces of the Greek 
chisel, or the soaring arches and pinna- 
cles of Bourges; when we think of the 
civic wisdom of Rome, the blossoming 
of Christian ideals of the middle ages ? 
What names are there to compel hom- 
age and undying admiration, as the 
great ruler after whom all emperors are 
named ? What philosophers to compare 
with the two master-spirits in whom all 
our thoughts and systems have their 
source? What representatives of an 
Oriental world-literature as universal as 
the divine bard, or the exiled Ghibelline 
of Florence ? 

Whether such a unity of thought and 
sentiment, such a common tradition of 
powerful personality exists in the Ori- 
ent, appears at first sight very doubt- 

ful, indeed. We must constantly be on 
our guard against misleading similarities 
and antitheses. Truth resides neither in 
" Yes " nor in " No," neither in differ- 
ence nor in identity, but in the shade or 
manner, the subtle relations of thought 
which lead one race or generation to 
emphasize classic form, while another 
dwells on inner force or romantic charm, 
both believing after all the same religion 
of beauty. Thus the analogies between 
Christianity and Buddhism are many, 
and Confucius solved the great moral 
problems in a manner not unlike that 
of other great moral teachers, so that 
his wisdom often appears trite to those 
who are looking for the strange and un- 

Indeed, it may be said that whatever 
has been thought has, at some time or 
other, been thought in Asia. But though 
the periphery and the contents of two 
theories may be almost identical, their 
import may nevertheless be immeasur- 
ably diverse, according to the nuance of 
emphasis imparted by the psychological 
background of primal motives and be- 
liefs. Thus the theories of the advocate 
of Stuart absolutism and of the senti- 
mental herald of the Revolution are al- 
most identical in their component ele- 
ments, when statically compared; yet 
how vastly different in import and re- 
sult, through distribution of emphasis 
and grouping of their various concepts! 
Even thus it is with Gotama, Kapila, and 
Confucius; and we shall probably get 
closer to a real understanding of Asiatic 
unity and of the relations of East and 
West, if instead of enumerating and 
counterbalancing qualities and character- 
istics, and setting up a fixed standard 
called Oriental, we should rather try to 
seize the subtle and Protean temper ani- 


The Ideal of Oriental Unity 

mating Oriental races; and instead of 
dilating upon the whole complex of their 
beliefs and institutions, atfempt to ap- 
preciate the shades and gradations of 
meaning, and to understand the tem- 
peramental background of Oriental life 
and thought. We may then perhaps find 
less Orientalism in Schopenhauer, as 
we have enough of pessimism in the West 
to supply sundry philosophers ; nor shall 
we probably be confident enough to 
strike a balance between East and West 
that will settle categorically all questions 
of superiority and power of triumphant 
control. No glittering aphorisms will 
reward us; nor sensational thrills and 
excitements. These joys we must fore- 
go, if we desire to approach the Orient 
in the spirit typified by a Humboldt 
rather than in the excited fancy of the 
exorcist of war clouds and many-colored 

The Orient has always had a danger- 
ous fascination for the West ; it has filled 
the Western mind with vague longings, 
fantastic imaginings, and lurid forebod- 
ings. As fair Italy with Circean charm 
enticed the rough riders of the Aleman- 
nian forests, even so the Orient has 
always cast a powerful spell over the na- 
tions of the West. Her deep philosophy, 
her venerable history, command their 
wonder and respect; her potential energy 
and wealth arouse their cupidity. The 
Russian mind has been especially prone 
to such entrancing dreams. "The grand 
and mysterious Orient it is ours, it 'is 
through us that its destiny is to be real- 
ized." Thus spake they, and they were 
the first to feel the mysterious power 
which they hoped to bind to their will 
and make the instrument of a bound- 
less ambition. Such vague aspirations 
make the romance of history, but they 
also make the heart-rending misery of 
the patient poor. 

Two utterances by prominent British 
statesmen have recently caused a great 
wave of discussion in the intellectual 
world of the East, particularly in India. 
On account of their deep effect due to 

very different causes they deserve our 
attention, and may reveal to us some 
interesting views of the temper of the 
Oriental mind. When Viceroy of India, 
Lord Curzon, fond of imperial display 
and realizing the importance of an im- 
pressive ceremonial, was always ready 
to take advantage of occasions of public 
moment. It being a part of his official 
life to personify both the grandeur and 
the wisdom of the British raj, he was not 
satisfied with the mere outward pomp and 
trappings of royal splendor, but also ad- 
dressed himself to the intelligence of his 
subjects in dignified discourses. But the 
homily which, shortly before his resigna- 
tion, he delivered at the Convocation of 
the University of Calcutta seems to have 
gone far towards destroying whatever 
assuaging effect his former diplomatic 
utterances had exerted. Speaking be- 
fore a select body of the intellectual aris- 
tocracy of India, he pronounced his views 
on some aspects of Oriental character. 
Though he directed his remarks to the 
graduating students, his words were in- 
terpreted by all his hearers, as well as 
by those to whom they were reechoed 
through the Indian press, as an insult 
deliberately offered to the moral charac- 
ter of India. 

The words which thus stirred up the 
resentment of a whole nation, and which 
are even now being discussed through- 
out Asia, would not at first sight strike 
us as extravagant, accustomed as we are 
to the most harebrained generalizations 
about Oriental races. But their solemn 
recital in the face of a representative 
Indian audience, on an occasion gen- 
erally consecrated to soothing common- 
places, is a poignant instance of the tra- 
ditional defectiveness of the British sense 
of humor. Such sentences as the follow- 
ing aroused the storm which has not yet 
subsided : 

" The highest ideal of truth is to a 
large extent a Western conception. . . . 
Truth took a higher place in the mor- 
al codes of the West long before it had 
been similarly honored in the East, where 

The Ideal of Oriental Unity 

craftiness and diplomatic wile have al- 
ways been held in repute. We may 
prove it by the common innuendo that 
lurks in the words ' Oriental diplomacy,' 
by which is meant something rather 
tortuous and hypersubtle." Lord Curzon 
then specified that the most ordinary 
forms which falsehood takes in Indian 
life are exaggeration, flattery, and vili- 

The retorts to this salutatory ad- 
dress were legion, and ran through the 
whole gamut of feeling, from bitter 
recrimination to dignified regret at the 
Viceroy's absolute misunderstanding of 
native life and ideals. There was no 
scarcity of material for retort, when the 
records of the British conquest in India 
were raked up. Lord Lytton's definition 
of a diplomat, and such well-known 
epithets as " perfide Albion," not to 
speak of more pointed and personal 
charges, were cited to neutralize the 
innuendo ; while a strange light was cast 
upon Western veracity by recounting 
the methods of American fraud concerns. 
Comparisons between the Greek and the 
Indian epic readily revealed the unf ound- 
edness of Lord Curzon's allusion to the 
historic development of the sense of 
truthfulness; Greek practice, too, was 
very unfavorably contrasted with that of 
Asiatic nations like Persia. General sur- 
prise was expressed at the rash gener- 
alizations of the Viceroy : " The idea of 
summing up a whole continent in a single 
phrase can occur only to the very igno- 
rant or the very confident." Lord Curzon 
had given rein to the " ignorant conceit 
of pigment and power," and had emu- 
lated the modern Elijah in berating a 
whole nation. Sarcastic references to 
Western forms of speech are now com- 
mon in India, such as : "a new liquor- 
shop, they call it a saloon in tne 
more truthful phraseology of civilized 

The occurrence, however, stirred up 
feelings deeper than a mere passing re- 
sentment and irritation. It led to an 
earnest self-analysis, and an accounting 

was taken of the Indian intellectual tem- 
per in its relation to the European rulers. 
While the most serious-minded among 
the educated Hindus freely admitted that 
the strictures of Lord Curzon were not 
entirely unfounded, they with bitterness 
of heart advanced the charge that if the 
character and the national self-respect 
of the Indian people had been impaired, 
such was the inevitable result of unfree- 
dom and political subjection. " The 
greatest evil," they said, " that has been 
wrought by the political dominion of 
England over India is the loss of our old 
oriental dignity and reserve that no- 
bility of knowing reticence." Despotism 
and lying go together, as the national 
spirit is debased by subjection, and the 
individual who is oppressed will, like the 
boy, look upon a falsehood as an abomi- 
nation unto the Lord, but a very present 
help in trouble. That the head of the 
alien government should charge a nation 
with weaknesses which might largely be 
attributed to its position of dependence, 
was to add gratuitous insult to an injury 
for which his own people were in part 

But aside from a certain degeneracy 
imposed by unkind conditions, the full 
tragedy of which they keenly felt, the 
leaders of Indian thought would not 
admit that veracity and honesty are held 
in less esteem in the Orient than among 
European peoples. They pointed out, 
however, a highly important difference 
in valuations, the spirit of which Lord 
Curzon most strangely had failed to per- 
ceive. While freely admitting the greater 
exactness of the Western mind in ob- 
servation and statement, they attributed 
this not to superior honesty but to a 
keener perception of the utility of accu- 
rate thought. Veracity is a social and 
commercial commodity in England and 
America, in many cases scarcely involv- 
ing any moral valuations at all. If, on 
the other hand, the Oriental is prone to 
exaggeration, this is not due to a delib- 
erate desire to deceive and to impart 
false impressions. His temper being emo- 

The Ideal of Oriental Unity 

tional and idealistic, he makes known his 
impressions in a language, not mathe- 
matically precise and coldly accurate, 
but designed to awaken the same emo- 
tions of surprise, wonder, admiration, or 
fear, which he himself experiences. He 
is not dishonest, though his statements 
lack accuracy. In the words of an Indian 
writer, " It will not do to exaggerate the 
heating power of the sun, if you want to 
roast your beef by his rays. When, how- 
ever, you do not desire to install the 
luminary of day as your chef, but to 
contemplate his majesty and glory, to 
meditate on the promise of his morning 
rays, and read the message of his dying 
splendors, then the play of the poetic 
imagination becomes an essential con- 
dition." Educated Hindus are inclined 
to doubt whether the standard of utility 
is higher than the emotional and spiritual 
standard of the Indian mind. 

In considering the question of the 
valuations of the ideal of truth,! need not 
repeat Max Muller's brilliant vindica- 
tion of the essential truthfulness of 
Oriental races, nor should we perhaps 
be ready to follow him in every detail of 
his apologetics. But we shall find that 
most fundamental honesty which requires 
that our actions should correspond to our 
profession and our beliefs, in as high 
regard among the Oriental peoples as 
among those of the West. The ideals of 
their beliefs may be less elevated than our 
own, but at any rate there is less variance 
between actions and belief among Con- 
fucians, Shintoists, and Buddhists than 
among the majority of good Christian 
people. Moreover, a more honest atti- 
tude towards the problems of life than 
that which characterizes the thought of 
Buddha and Confucius can hardly 
be imagined; the relations of life are 
clearly seen, social duties are faithfully 
met, and no facile optimism is allowed 
to gloss over life's tragedies. Buddha 
faced unflinchingly the misery of exist- 
ence, and without appealing for salva- 
tion to a future state, worked with a 
will to discover the path by which men 

can gain peace and an ennobled life here 
below. Such a system, if not true, is cer- 
tainly at least honest. 

Nothing has set up a more impass- 
able barrier between the peoples of the 
East and the West than the profound 
discrepancy between Christian profes- 
sion and practice. The deceitful selfish- 
ness, the rapacity and bloodshed, with 
which Christian nations have established 
then* power in the Orient, the vicious- 
ness of the earlier adventurers and trad- 
ers, have thoroughly alienated sympathy 
and destroyed confidence. When, after 
the revolting record of the Chinese War, 
the Western nations offer themselves 
as moral exhorters, the cultured Oriental 
is tempted to smile at the incongruity. 
But the disillusionment which is thus 
created has its tragic side, too. How 
pathetic is the blighted hope and utter 
despair of an ardent convert like Nila- 
kantha Goreh, whose high expectations 
of Christian life are disappointed ! After 
cutting loose from his earlier beliefs, and 
thereby bringing deep sorrow on all his 
beloved ones (his father took the vow of 
eternal silence, so as not to have to pro- 
nounce the curse against his son), this 
young Indian scholar came to England 
to live in that atmosphere of love and 
purity whose ideal simplicity had at- 
tracted his soul after he had fought his 
way through all the systems of Indian 
philosophy. But, after six weeks in Lon- 
don, he came to his Oxford mentor with 
the sorrowful words, " If what I have 
seen in London is Christianity, I am no 
longer a Christian." His noble and bril- 
liant intellect was ultimately wrecked 
through his great disillusionment. So 
it is possible that under the law of com- 
pensation we may have lost in honesty 
of We while we have gained in exactness 
of statement and thought. 

Though the appreciation of scientific 
exactness has of late increased very much 
in the Orient, yet Oriental thinkers are 
not ready to give it quite an absolutely 
leading importance among their ideals. 
It is in this connection that the other 

The Ideal of Oriental Unity 

utterance I have mentioned a recent 
address of Mr. Balfour as president of 
the British Association of Science 
created a powerful impression in the 
Orient. He discussed the electrical the- 
ory of matter, the latest result of the 
advances of physical science, according 
to which the world is motion or energy, 
expressed in terms of electric monads. 
Under recent discoveries the supposed 
solidity of matter has melted away; with 
proper light we may now look through 
the heart of oak, nor will the massive 
fortress wall resist these penetrating rays. 
The solid mountains and ancient strata 
of our earth are themselves but impris- 
oned energy, and all our perceptions are 
the result of winged motion. After dwell- 
ing on the marvelous vistas thus dis- 
closed, the philosophical prime minister 
said, " It may seem singular that down 
to five years ago, our race has, without 
exception, lived and died in a world of 
illusions, and that these illusions have 
not been about things remote or abstract, 
things transcendental or divine, but about 
what men see and handle, about those 
' plain matters of fact ' among which 
common sense moves with its most con- 
fident step and most self-satisfied smile." 
Thus our sensual sight and touch have 
been deceived, and it is only through the 
inspired vision, the penetrating imagina- 
tion, of great scientific seers, that the 
truth of the real constitution of the uni- 
verse is beginning to dawn upon our 
intelligence. Mr. Balfour further notes 
that through evolution our senses have 
not been prepared for the vision of the 
inner and absolute truth of things. The 
common sense of humanity lives in per- 
sistent illusion; " matter of fact " means 
deception. The needs of self- and race- 
preservation lead to all the falsehoods 
and deceits involved in the shrewdness 
of competitive life, the illusions of sexual 
selection, and the master fallacy of nar- 
row patriotism. 

When Western thinkers express and sug- 
gest such thoughts as these they awaken 
a strange echo in the philosophy of the 

East in both Hindu and Buddhist lands : 
the vanity and illusoriness of sensual 
existence, the veil of Maya cast over us 
which produces the delusion of the ego, 
of finite personality; and the Buddhist 
belief that the desire for individual ex- 
istence is the root of all suffering, that 
true happiness comes alone from the 
perception of the transitoriness of all 
things and from the gradual conquest of 
the error of self. As the implications of 
these views have been fully realized in 
the East, the attitude of the Oriental 
mind towards the practical, scientific 
knowledge, which we value so highly, 
has differed greatly from our own. The 
usefulness of science for increasing the 
comforts of life is indeed admitted, and 
use will be made of its guidance for prac- 
tical purposes ; but to the Oriental, soul- 
life will always be more important than 
bodily existence. Buddhism, in the words 
of one of its adherents, finds its goal 
rather in the delights of a deep appreci- 
ation of the realities of existence, in the 
exercise of the higher mental faculties, in 
a life transfused with every-day beauty, 
than in the possession of innumerable 
means of advancing wealth and com- 
merce, of gratifying sense, of promoting 
mere bodily comfort. 

As the Oriental strives to overcome 
the fetters and limitations of personal 
existence, so his mind yearns rather to- 
wards the vast mysteries that surround 
life on all sides ; it loves to dwell on the 
problems of infinitude and of the ulti- 
mate springs of human action, rather 
than to confine itself within the narrow 
limits of a detailed scientific investiga- 
tion. Notwithstanding the sane and 
positivist teachings of Buddha and Con- 
fucius, their insistence on the duties of 
present life, their refusal to pass in 
thought beyond the awful gates of life 
and death, the yearning of the Oriental 
mind had been towards the mysteri- 
ous. From the Tantra devils of Thibet, 
through the awestruck philosophies of 
Hinduism, to the subtle imaginings of 
ghostly Japan, this tendency to contem- 

The Ideal of Oriental Unity 

plate the mysterious, the grand, the far- 
away in time and space, is powerfully 
present. Day with its solar splendor, 
with its clear and bright illumination, 
reveals the form and color of things near 
by, of household, meadow, and forest; 
yet this very brightness and effulgence 
is a heavy curtain that conceals from our 
sight the universe, the myriads of worlds 
which the clearness of night will unveil. 
Compared to these our empires are but 
fragments of dust. Even so to the Ori- 
ental the clear light of experimental sci- 
ence seems but a shred of that veil of 
Maya which hides the real, the universal, 
the absolute, from our sight. 

The reason for this peculiar Asiatic 
bent toward the mystic, as compared 
with the white-light intelligence of Eu- 
rope, may perhaps be found in the con- 
stant presence of overawing natural 
phenomena. Europe, with its narrow 
valleys, its rivers across which any strong- 
limbed man may swim, its equable tem- 
perature, its normal succession of sea- 
sons, is indeed the place where human 
intelligence could learn to respect itself, 
and man conceive the thought of meas- 
uring his powers with those of nature. 
But stand before the heaven-conquering 
walls of the Himalayas ; gaze across the 
continents of sand in Asiatic deserts, 
shifted again and again by storm so as 
to sweep away or create anew veritable 
mountain ranges; contemplate the tor- 
rents which without warning bring de- 
struction to thousands, and the inunda- 
tions in which hosts lose home and We ; 
think of earthquakes, typhoons, tidal 
waves, and the black scourge of famine 
and pestilence as constantly impending; 
and then apostrophize man and his intel- 
ligence as the master of it all ; and you 
will find few believers among the cowed 
sufferers from the imperious caprice of 

Overawed by such forces, surrounded 
by a nature bountiful and caressing at 
one moment, bitterly cruel and destruct- 
ive the next, the Orient could not avoid 
a temper of mind which looks on hu- 

man contrivance as weak, on human 
existence as valueless, and sees real force 
and permanent sway only in the vast, 
mysterious powers of earth and sky. Per- 
sonality, a mere plaything of the grim 
and irresponsible, cannot have any im- 
portance in itself; and the best solution 
is that all this terror-inspiring existence 
is but a phantasmagoria, an illusion, a 
procession of incongruous dream-states. 
And yet it is an emanation of the uni- 
versal force. The impersonality of the 
Orient has for its counterpart an intens- 
ive appreciation of the universal force, 
whatever it may be called. For as the 
individual counts as nothing in the philo- 
sophy of the Brahman and the Buddhist, 
in the polity of China and Japan, it is 
the realization of the universal spirit or 
force, in some form or other, that con- 
stitutes the chief yearning of the Asiatic 

The Hindu spiritualizes and personi- 
fies nature in his crowded pantheon, and 
sees in all phenomena the expression of 
one mysterious will; Buddhism, admit- 
ting neither spirit, human or divine, yet 
finds peace and happiness in the eleva- 
tion of the individual mind to the plane 
of universal thought, to the contempla- 
tion of universal law. In China and Ja- 
pan the universal is worshiped in the 
form of ancestral achievement, in that 
strange identification of ancestral spirits 
with the soul of the country; so that, in 
the minds of the people, sacred Fuji and 
the groves and rivers and seas of Japan 
are united with the qualities of that silent 
but ever-present choir of ghosts from 
which Japan draws her inspiration and 

From our one-sided point of view, we 
would say that humanity in the Orient, 
overpowered by destiny in the shape of 
natural catastrophe, famine, pestilence, 
and war, has not yet found itself. It 
has never enjoyed the shelter of the 
Greek city in which Western humanity 
first became conscious of its powers and 
its individuality. For though the great 
master Gotama had a clear vision of 

The Ideal of Oriental Unity 

human spiritual development, his simple 
and austere faith has been overlaid by 
the powerful impulse of Asiatic nature, 
with a rank growth of animism and mys- 
ticism. And though Confucius, too, clung 
to the practical, his very authority in the 
course of time deadened individual striv- 
ing and advance. Oriental humanity 
has indeed found itself in the nation of 
Japan, in that brave race which, drawing 
courage and poetry from the very terrors 
of the grave, with all the deep suggestive- 
ness of Asiatic insight, has still the iron 
grip of self-control and the clear vision 
of the practical. 

The Orient shuns limitations. In- 
deed, if we may be permitted to general- 
ize, one of the chief differences between 
Oriental and Western civilization lies 
in the fact that the former has never 
strictly and consistently limited the field 
of its consciousness and of its endeavors, 
but has allowed all the sensations and 
passions of past and present, of the inde- 
finite and the infinite, to crowd in upon 
it, so that the sense of individual form 
in thought and life has not been devel- 
oped. While in the West, expressing itself 
in the idea of classicism, and in the con- 
crete sense of form of the Greeks, there 
has been a steady effort to confine hu- 
man thought and sentiment within cer- 
tain lines, to dwell on certain aspects 
of life which seemed to be most closely 
connected with human personality as a 
dominant factor; excluding the fierce 
and untoward moods of nature, and sup- 
pressing certain weird and uncanny ten- 
dencies of thought as abnormal and in 
fact insane. 

But such classic limitations of individ- 
uality are not of the spirit of the Orient. 
Rather than limit the individual formally 
and thus allow the development of char- 
acteristic individualism, it would identify 
him with the social body, and his soul 
with the world-soul. Thus also, while 
most punctilious of social forms, and 
bowing to a super-refined social etiquette, 
it does not countenance the tyranny of 
shifting fashions, or the conventional 

respectability founded on a certain ex- 
clusiveness of the individual 

It is considered a meritorious thing for 
the householder and father to leave be- 
hind him the confining relations of family 
life and to become a hermit or monk. 
The man who leaves his home and fam- 
ily, dresses himself in rags, and ravages 
his body with hardships and ill-usage, 
may become an honored teacher, the in- 
tellectual and spiritual guide to many. 
Men love to cast off the shackles of re- 
spectability and take to the highways 
and the woods ; and they gain merit by 
so doing. They are the religious, the phil- 
osophers, the inspiration of the multi- 
tudes. To the people they appear to real- 
ize various immunities. In India, hermits 
come year after year from the moun- 
tains to visit valley towns, showing no 
signs of aging as long as generations 
can remember. This same longing for 
the unlimited, the unrestrained, together 
with the influence of terrific natural 
phenomena in Asia, lies at the bottom 
of the uncanny horror and mystery of 
Asiatic life. In the delicate ghost stories 
of Japan this feeling has assumed a 
graceful and poetic aspect, the aesthetic 
possibilities of awe and terror have been 
realized to the full. But in India, where 
coarse magic flourishes and preys on a 
superstitious multitude, the awful ness 
of the abysses of human consciousness 
may be divined. 

The Greek portrayal of death has in 
this respect sounded the keynote of 
our civilization. The terror, the heart- 
rending ugliness of dissolution, the hope- 
less void, are not in the remotest way 
suggested; the gentleness of grief, the 
sweetness of consolation, the companion- 
ship of loved ones, are represented ; while 
death himself is a friendly genius sum- 
moning to rest. And so in our history 
we early outgrew ancestor-worship, and 
resolutely turning our back on the past, 
with all its degrading memories and 
bestial struggles, we faced the morning 
of hope, the promise of a sunny day. 1 

Deep in the night of subconsciousness 


The Ideal of Oriental Unity 

there is still a dark and unclean deposit 
of wilder ages, of sordid life, cruelty, 
ignoble conquest, and harsh passions. 
In the elemental fury of war, these lower 
instincts awaken, and men whom we love 
as friends and brothers may be dragged 
down to the level of a bestial age. But 
the total effect of our civilization and 
education is to draw our consciousness 
away from such impulses, to concen- 
trate our vision upon our present ideals. 
For how could we preserve a sense of 
individuality and spirituality, were we 
to be dragged back constantly into the 
terrors and passions of primitive ages ? 

Much of the potent charm of Japanese 
life and poetry comes from the ever 
imminent sense of an abysmal void which 
threatens to swallow up her flowery 
meadows and her silent temple groves. 
May the earthquake never come that 
will again bring uppermost the dead 
past in Japan. The Orient, through con- 
stant musing on the mysterious and hid- 
den, may have fortified itself against the 
coarser aspects of the primitive in man, 
but its development, yes, its very exist- 
ence, has been jeopardized by this lack 
of limitation. Japan, it is true, has trans- 
fused these elements into a marvelous 
poetry of life, of which Lafcadio Hearn 
is the eloquent interpreter ; but the other 
peoples of the Orient have thus far failed 
to attain such a balance. 

While the psychological unity of the 
Oriental nations has not been so clearly 
and definitely worked out as it has been 
in the West, notwithstanding all minor 
national idiosyncrasies, still the Orient 
has also had its share of international 
unifying influences. The sacred places 
in India where the great teacher, lived 
have for two thousand years attracted 
pilgrims from all parts of the Buddhist 
world ; and earnest students have sought 
deeper wisdom by communing with the 
monks of famous monasteries in Bur- 
mah and Ceylon. Ever since the em- 
bassy of Emperor Ming-ti sought for 
the new gospel in the year 61, and the 
sage Fa-hien undertook his great journey, 

India has thus been visited by seekers 
after new light. Also the apostles of 
India's missionary religion, in its first 
age of flourishing enthusiasm, spread the 
teaching of Gotama to all the lands of 
Southern and Eastern Asia, even from 
Palestine, where they implanted the 
germs of the Western monastic system, 
to the far islands of the rising sun. Thus 
Buddhism became the greatest unifying 
force in Asia, and no name or person- 
ality commands a wider and more sincere 
homage than he who found the light and 
pointed the way, the great teacher " who 
never spake but good and wise words, he 
who was the light of the world." And 
so it is that also in more recent epochs, 
down to our own day, his thought and 
life have been and are the chief centre 
of the common feelings and enthusiasms 
of Asia. 

The great age of illumination under 
the Sung dynasty in China saw the be- 
ginning of the attempts to merge and 
fuse Taoist, Buddhist, and Confucian 
thought, in Neo-Confucianism, called 
by Okakura "a brilliant effort to mir- 
ror the whole of Asiatic consciousness." 
It was Buddhist monks and mission- 
aries who acted as messengers between 
China and Japan in that great form- 
ative period of a thousand years, in 
which all the currents of Indian and 
Chinese civilization made their impress 
upon Japanese national character. And 
under the Tokugawa regime the inde- 
pendent spirits of Japan trained them- 
selves for the demands of an exacting 
epoch in the thought of Wang-yang- 
ming, or Oyomei, which, informed with 
the noblest ideals and the deepest in- 
sight of Buddhism, joins to these a zest 
in active life, an ardent desire to partici- 
pate in the surging development in 
which the universe and human destiny 
are unfolding themselves. In this school, 
which combines a truly poetic sentiment 
for the pathos of fading beauty and fleet- 
ing fragrance, for the ghostliness of an 
existence made up of countless vibrations 
of past joy and suffering, with the cour- 

The Ideal of Oriental Unity 


ageous desire to see clearly and act with 
energy, to share to the full in this great 
battle we call life, in this school were 
trained the statesmen and warriors of 
Satsuma and Choshiu who have led 
Japan to greatness in peace and glory 
in war. 

The unity of Asiatic civilization has 
found an actual embodiment in the spirit 
of Japan. There it is not the product of 
political reasoning, nor the discovery of 
philosophical abstraction. All the phe- 
nomena of the overpowering natural 
world of Asia are epitomized in the 
islands of the morning sun, where nature 
is as luxuriant and as forbidding, as 
caressing and as severe, as fertile and as 
destructive, as in all that cyclorama of 
storm, earthquake, typhoon, flood, and 
mountain vastness which we call Asia. 
Even thus has Japan in the course of her 
historic development received by gradual 
accretion the fruit of ail Asiatic thought 
and endeavor. Nor have these waves 
from the mainland washed her shores in 
vain; her national life has not been the 
prey of capricious conquerors im- 
posing for a brief time a sway that would 
leave no permanent trace on the national 
life. Her mind and character have re- 
ceived and accepted these continental 
influences, as the needs of her own de- 
veloping life have called for them; they 
have not been received perforce or by 
caprice, but have exerted a moulding 
influence and have been assimilated into 
a consistent, deep, and powerful national 
character. A psychological unity has 
thus been created an actual expression 
of the flesh and blood of life in touch 
with the national ideals and ambitions 
of a truly patriotic race. 

This is a far different matter from the 
mere intellectual recognition of certain 
common beliefs, ideals, and institutions 
throughout the Orient. On such a per- 
ception of unity at most a certain intel- 
lectual sympathy could be founded. But 
in Japan the Oriental spirit has become 
flesh it has ceased to be a bloodless 
generalization, and it now confronts the 

world in the shape of a nation conscious 
of the complicated and representative 
character of its psychology, and ardent- 
ly enthusiastic over the loftiness of its 
mission. We know Japanese patriotism 
as national, inspired by loyalty to the 
Mikado and by love for the land of 
Fujiyama ; we may soon learn to know it 
as Asiatic deeply stirred by the ex- 
alting purpose of aiding that Asiatic 
thought-life which has made Japan to 
come to its own and preserve its dig- 
nity and independence through all the 
ages. Must we view with apprehension 
such a broadening of Japanese patriot- 
ism? Does not danger threaten the 
world from having Japan inscribe upon 
her banner the unity of the Orient and 
the preservation of its ideals ? 

It is said that Asia is pessimistic. Yet 
her pessimism is not the sodden gloom 
of despair, whose terrifying scowl we 
encounter in European realistic art, and 
which is the bitter fruit of perverted 
modes of living. The pessimism of Asia, 
which makes the charm of her poetry, 
from Firdusi to the writers of the deli- 
cate Japanese Haikai, is rather a sooth- 
ing, quieting, aesthetic influence, like the 
feeling of sadness which touches the heart 
at the sight of great beauty, and which 
perhaps is due to the memory of all the 
yearnings and renunciations in the ex- 
perience of a long chain of lives. The 
pessimism of the Orient is tragic, rather 
than cynical, and Japan at the present 
time gives proof of the fact that the spirit 
of tragedy belongs to strong nations. 

As tragedy was the art of the Greeks 
before Pericles and of the Elizabethan 
English, so modern Japan draws strength 
from that deep undercurrent of tragic 
feeling in her nature. The attitude of the 
Japanese mind is further apparent from 
its conception of suicide ; the hara-kiri is 
not a cowardly escape from the burdens 
of life, it is rather a supreme effort to 
concentrate all the powers of personality 
towards the righting of a wrong, or the 
achievement of a high purpose, which 
no other sacrifice would attain. Nor is 

The Ideal of Oriental Unity 

Buddhism itself in any sense nihilistic, 
as is so often supposed. The goal of Nir- 
vana is not a negative self-annihila- 
tion but a positive ideal, "life made 
glorious by self -conquest and exalted by 
boundless love and wisdom." The pre- 
ponderance of ill is admitted, but there 
is no utter despair of redemption from 
care and suffering : the diligent develop- 
ment of right thought, the acquisition of 
that high training which enables the 
mind to extricate itself from vulgar error 
and to share the serene peace of imper- 
sonal vision that is the way of salva- 
tion. Such tendencies of mind as these 
cannot indeed be branded as dangerous 
by simply stamping them with the mark 
" pessimism." 

It is said that the Orient is despotic. 
And yet nowhere are governmental 
functions more circumscribed than in 
countries like China. Oriental despot- 
ism does not mean constant govern- 
mental interference. The despot is, in- 
deed, irresistible when he does act; but 
he will not choose to act contrary to the 
general customs of the realm, because 
these customs are sacred, and on their 
sacredness his own customary authority 
depends. It is the people who through 
continued action make the customs, and 
they are little interfered with in the man- 
agement of their local affairs. Though 
China has no parliament, its social or- 
ganization is thoroughly democratic. Nor 
is the Orient subject to industrial tyran- 
nies. Its industries are carried on in 
the family home, and form part of the 
family life; the joy of work has not de- 
parted, for the workman does not toil 
in a dreary prison-house, and the soul 
has not been taken out of his work. As 
the object of his labor grows under his 
hand, he rejoices in the perfection of 
form, and to the satisfaction of the artisan 
is added the delight of the artist. Thus 
it is that in the Orient art with all the 
joy of beauty that it brings has not gone 
out of the life of the people, has not be- 
come an exclusive and artificial language 
understood only by the few, a minister 

to luxury and indolent ease. It has 
retained its true function of pervading 
all human life with a subtle aroma of 
refinement and joy. 

In ideals such as these it would be 
difficult to discover the rampant and 
infuriate dragon of Emperor William's 
imagination. Indeed, the temper of Ori- 
ental civilization is preeminently peace- 
ful. China has imparted her civilization 
to all the peoples of the Far East, but 
she has never attempted to impose her 
rule upon them by conquest; and of 
Buddhism alone of all great religions 
can it be said that it never carried on a 
propaganda with the sword. The great 
peoples of the plains of India and China 
have been too peaceful to resist the con- 
querors, but they have been strong and 
patient enough to subdue the victors to 
their own civilization. The conquering 
hordes of Asia have come, not from the 
civilized plains, but from the rude and 
inhospitable mountain haunts of Turkes- 
tan and Mongolia. At their hands peace- 
ful Asia has suffered even more than 
turbulent Europe, and Japan alone has 
never been forced to bow before a vic- 
torious foe. 

If the Orient is allowed more fully to 
realize these inherent tendencies of its 
spirit, and to develop along its own 
natural lines, in a life of peace and 
artistic industry, true humanity should 
rejoice, for its purposes would be accom- 
plished. The unity of all human life, 
the brotherhood of man, is the essential 
doctrine of the most potent religion of 
the East. Only if diverted from these 
ideals by continued injustice and aggres- 
sion, by a rude attempt to subject these 
ancient societies to an alien law of life, 
could the spirit of the Orient be led 
to assume a threatening and destructive 

After her great successes, Japan was 
acclaimed by the peoples of the Orient 
as the Lohengrin who is to champion and 
protect the honor of Asia; and though 
there has since been much doubt as to 
her real purposes, it is not too late for 

The Ideal of Oriental Unity 


Japan to realize the responsibilities of 
her position over against the countries to 
which she owes so much in her civiliza- 
tion. Thus far the ideas of Asiatic unity 
have been vague and conflicting; the 
Orient has not possessed that definite 
stock of common concepts and ideals 
which constitute the psychological unity 
of Europe. And hence, also, the conven- 
tional and vulgar antithesis of Orient 
and the West, with its sharp delineations 
of ideals, has been altogether misleading. 
As the perception of a certain unity of 
Oriental development becomes clearer, 
and as the historic sense is strengthened 
through the rise of a strong political 
entity in Japan, we may look for power- 
ful conscious efforts to realize an Oriental 
unity of spirit and civilization. But when 
we examine the chief elements upon 
which such a unity would have to be 
founded, were it to take as its basis 
the historic facts of Asiatic life, we can 
find in them no strident contrast to our 

Nothing, indeed, vouches so much for 
the ultimate unity of the human race as 
the fact that the most characteristic ex- 
pressions of Asiatic thought are not ut- 
terly alien to us, but on the contrary they 
powerfully touch the most secret heart- 
VOL. 102 -NO. 1 

strings and appeal to our deepest emo- 
tions. This is, of course, not surprising 
when we go back to the Aryan back- 
ground of Indian civilization. The im- 
ages and ideas of the Vedic age find a 
ready response in our poetic experience; 
Indra, Varuna, and the goddess of dawn 
appear familiar figures. But even the 
favorite words of Buddhist devotion ut- 
tered to-day by hundreds of thousands 
as they place their gifts of fresh flowers 
before the image of the Great Teacher, 
a meditation rather than a prayer, for 
there are no gods to invoke in pure 
Buddhism, even these have not an ut- 
terly alien sound to us : 

" These flowers I offer in memory 
of Him, the Lord, the Holy One, the 
Supremely-enlightened Buddha, even as 
the Enlightened Ones in ages past, the 
Saints and Holy of all times have of- 
fered. Now are these flowers fair of 
form, glorious in color, sweet of scent. 
Yet soon will all have passed away 
withered their fair form, faded the bright 
hues, and foul the flowers' scent ! Thus 
even is it with all component things : 
Impermanent, and full of Sorrow and 
Unreal. Realizing this, may we attain 
unto that peace which is beyond all 



Shakes from white shoulders, green reluctant 

THE white birch of our northern woods 
seems to hold within its veins more of the 
elixir of ancient Pagandom than any 
other of our impulsive, untended wood- 
growths. Its waving elegance, its white 
smoothness of limb, the misty inefficiency 
of its veil of green, even its shy preference 
for untrodden earth and unappropriated 
hillsides give it a half-fleeting suggestion 
of the fabled days when nymph and faun 
danced with the shadows of the song- 
haunted forest. 

Coleridge calls the white birch "the lady 
of the woods," but beyond the poetical 
suggestion of sex and award of beauty 
given by such a phrase from such a 
source, there is a hint in the young white 
birch tree of something far apart from 
the present of simple perfect tree-life. 
One is haunted by visions of slender 
nymphhood always young and always 
beautiful, dancing joyously through rain- 
bow-colored days and sleeping lightly 
through mists of star-threaded darkness, 
waiting for the golden call of the sun- 
beams to begin again the rhythmic waltz 
of motion. One has only to sit long 
enough with a birch tree in the bewilder- 
ment of summer hours, to hear and see 
and feel its relation to the dreams which 
long-ago peoples have dreamed. Its rela- 
tion to a life without self-made law, lived 
as the birds live, with their only code 
written within their natures by the hand 
which made them. 

The exceeding beauty of the birch tree 
is apparent at all times, but there are 
places, and enrichments of circumstance, 
which bring it to a point where the enjoy- 
ment of it is lifted to a plane which covers 
all our faculties of feeling. There are 
days in my memory which I call my 

" white-birch days," as full of sensation 
as they could possibly have been if filled 
with the finest human companionship. 

One misplaced windy day in late May 
I went walking over the hill-pastures 
of New Hampshire looking for arbutus, 
sometimes stumbling through a scum 
of dried leaves blown from neighboring 
woods or breaking through a knee-high 
crust of low-growing oak twigs, buffeting 
the wind as I climbed, and turning every 
now and then to see where slopes of the 
hill waved their breadths of long ochre- 
colored last-year's grasses against the in- 
spiring blue of the sky; enjoying all the 
yellows and browns and ash-colors and 
faint greens of earth spread out expect- 
antly under the blue promise of a May 
heaven. Suddenly I came upon a long 
line of tumbled stones, and then an angle 
of still-standing old stone wall, where a 
sudden dip in the ground made an incon- 
venient corner long forgotten of plough 
or scythe ; and there grew a young birch 

How intent they were upon growing! 
The small unfolding leaves were quiver- 
ing with effort, and I noticed for the 
first time, how the gradual darkening of 
the bark at the ends of the twigs made 
them invisible, so that for a space of the 
innumerable small branchings, the young 
green leaves seemed unattached to the 
tree and were like a swarm of leaves flut- 
tering around it in a mist of green. They 
were transparent with early spring the 
sap in them had not hardened into the 
green enamel of summer, so that it was a 
cloud of gauzy wings which fluttered be- 
tween and around and above the white 
branchings. They were not separate 
trees, but an intermingling of wonderful 
tracery, a space in air filled with a silvery 
net of crossing and branching and inter- 

The White Birch 


laced and beautifully ordered lines of 
living growth, a tangle of ethereal and 
material beauty which I knew would not 
melt like frostwork under a breath, but 
go on living and growing, higher and 
constantly higher, toward the sky from 
which came the command of their being. 

When I walked down among them, 
fingering their white young bodies as I 
passed, I came to a slice of lichen-covered 
primeval rock in the midst of them, and 
then into the heart of a cloud of heavenly 
fragrance, and there hiding almost under 
the rock, ran the arbutus which had 
called me from home. 

" Oh how dear of you to be here ! just 
here! " I said as I parted the thick 
rounded leaves and came upon the per- 
fection of spring blossoming ; then I sat 
ine down and listened to and answered 
the silent utterances which swarmed up 
from the ground, and swam level from 
the branches, and fell in small celestial 
drops from the tree-tops.. It was a tran- 
substantiation of me into the something 
which filled the air, the very life of life 
of the natural w r orld. What mortal voice 
could have drawn me to the height where 
my heart sang with the trees and rose 
with them to higher levels. All the bless- 
ed morning I stayed with them, and all 
the seasons and years since then I have 
remembered that birch-day as one of the 
special joys of my life. 

Birch trees do not love to grow alone, 
although they do not care greatly for the 
companionship of other trees. Two will 
grow together, contented with a dual life, 
but more often they grow in groups of 
sixes and sevens. They are much more 
often spoken of as " a clump of birches " 
than as " a birch tree." If by chance one 
starts to grow alone, it will stand straight 
as a hickory, cleaving the air in perfect 
perpendicular until it has reached man- 
height, and then it begins to waver 
looking to east or west or north or south 
for companionship ; and failing that 
grows into a permanent lean. This semi- 
crookedness seems to add character to 

the tree, instead of taking from it; what 
it lacks in uprightness it gains in a certain 
confidingness, an innocence of spirit em- 
phasized by its attitude. 

The primitive races of North America 
established a closer relation with the shy 
birch tree than we have been able to do, 
and it served for them many important 
and friendly purposes. 

First and foremost it carried them 
along rivers and over lake-crossings with 
a security which we should never have 
imagined, or experienced. A man with 
shoes on his feet could never have trust- 
ed the frail bottoms of Indian canoes to 
hold him safely; in fact, only the stealthy 
certainty of an Indian foot can tread 
them without fear or care. The Indian 
strips the bark from the wood, and fash- 
ions it to his mind, or the mind of some 
forefather of his race, and straightway 
the birch tree has entered upon an en- 
largement of its existence, a period of 
the life of motion; not as in the days 
of its nymphhood, a dance in Elysian 
fields, but a blissful floating over shin- 
ing surfaces where blue of sky, and 
white of clouds, and green of trees, and 
brown of water-depths are mingled and 
fused in sun rays, and the canoe casts 
the record of its woodland life upon the 
water and becomes a part of the poetry 
of the woods. 

The birch tree connects itself at many 
points with what we call savage life, 
meaning that which finds its satisfac- 
tions in nature instead of civilization ; its 
unmanufactured parchment has borne 
pictured messages of war and warriors, 
love and lovers, and has been a partner 
in the mysterious incantations of primi- 
tive healers. It has served as material and 
background for curious embroideries of 
Indian women, done in color with dyed 
quills of the porcupine. It has been fash- 
ioned into vessels which carried food and 
water to sick or starving men, and has 
lit the fires and cooked the meals of the 
human creatures of the wilderness. First 
and last, wild creature as the white birch 
continues to be, it ministers well to body 


The White Birch 

and soul of man with its beauty and its 

The baby white birch wears a bark of 
yellow or brown, covering its slender, 
branchy twigs; but the moment youth 
approaches, the tree dons the white livery 
of the nymphs and joins the ranks of its 
fellows in silvery uniform. 

In a middle aged birch tree the bark is 
written all over with hieroglyphics of its 
experiences, whether the black marks 
record inner or outer history we know not, 
since no man has found the key to that 
sign language; but as the days go on, and 
seasons succeed one another, and hap- 
penings arrive, the hieroglyphics grow, 
until some day perhaps the birch tree 
becomes a roll of history hidden in secret 
places of the deep woods, covered with 
signs as inscrutable as those of ancient 
papyrus in Egyptian tombs. 

One of my white- birch- tree days I shall 
always remember as having been curi- 
ously influenced by a present and past of 
world-thought which seemed to infest it. 
It was in that part of the forest of Fon- 
tainebleau which lies neighboring Barbi- 
zon. The forest itself was purely a forest; 
instinct with tree-life, and bird-life, and 
animal-life; although the latter had a 
smack of conventionality, or even arti- 
ficiality, which was not a natural condi- 
tion. One had a feeling that the animals 
had been wound up, to walk through 
prescribed deer-paths, and cheat the 
sight with a semblance of wild life, like 
a forest glade in a theatre. Yet in large 
quiet, and amid rocks and springing 
tufts of wood-growths and patches of un- 
disturbed mosses and ferns, there stood 
a group of white birches, beautiful to 
behold. The shadow of the gray rock 
against which it braced itself, smelled 
softly damp, like the shadows of rocks 
I knew in far-off mountains; and small 
vermilion-colored umbrella-shaped toad- 
stools grew in it, and over it was a sky 
as ethereal, as deeply blue, as unstained, 
as the sky which bent over the great 
mountains of other birch-tree haunts of 
the wide, wide world. These trees had 

reached middle age, and were old enough 
to remember the forest pageants of the 
latest Napoleonic period. They might 
have seen the beautiful Eugenie as she 
sat in Winterhalter's portrait, with a for- 
est setting for herself and her favorite 

"That is what makes of these birch 
trees ladies instead of nymphs," I said 
to myself, as I unfolded my camp-chair 
and spread the legs of a folding easel, 
and opened my color-box. " They look 
like New England trees, but they re- 
member sophisticated people; the air is 
full of thoughts and motions of courts 
and kings and of to-day motives and 
strivings. Some painter with a mind full 
of thoughts of technique, and flitting fore- 
dreams of personal success, has painted 
them. His mind has wrestled with ad- 
vanced painters for admission to the 
Salon, while his eyes were noting the 
transparencies of June drapery, and the 
wonderful symmetry of limb of these 
ladies of the woods. The air is still in- 
stinct with his flying thoughts and glit- 
tering with little snapshots of his bodily 
presence. I may get a portrait to-day, 
but I shall not have a vision." And all 
the while the blues were deepening on 
my canvas, and the grays and greens and 
golds coming forward into sunshine or 
going back into shadow, and the long 
white stems growing into birch trees. 

By and by I began to feel their own 
reserved life; I absorbed a subtle under- 
standing of its individual and personal 
reality. Of course the trees were not liv- 
ing in lower air ; they were rising above it 
into the pure ether which is attainable by 
all earthly things. I was conscious that 
the tree-sense lived and dominated the 
little ambitions and vagaries of human 
life both past and present. I recognized 
the God-thought, planted and growing 
upward, and unconscious of lower things 
in its pure instinct of beauty, simplicity, 
and truth. All the insect trivialities which 
multiply in the imagination of man, and 
fly forth and become an almost imperish- 
able environment, were scattered. While 

The White Birch 


I painted and pondered, a deer walked 
out into the open on delicate feet, and 
withdrew again silently into the misty 
obscurity of the forest; but he was no 
longer to me a suggestion of man's con- 
trivance; he was a real, heavenly-con- 
ceived creature, made to consort with and 
enjoy other wild things of his creation. 
In the stillness rabbits chased one another 
across my very foreground, and a wood- 
pecker walked upside down along the 
arm of an old oak which projected across 
my sky line. 

There were no more fashion plates or 
wrangles of methods or ambitions in the 
air nothing but the group of birch 
trees with its beautiful, silent, upward 
reach into heaven, and the blue and gold 
and silver of a June day in the great 
historical forest. 

But at night, when I had set my birch- 
tree portrait up to dry on the stone shelf 
above the cottage fireplace, and stretched 
myself upon the smooth hardness of a 
cottage bed, and darkness filled the small 
one- windowed room, I lay and wondered 
in the deep of my heart, how much 
remained of the uttered thought and 
completed acts of our precedent fellow- 
mortals? Had they only a fleeting and 
perishable existence ? or was the air filled 
with the active and transparent ghosts 
of them as I had felt them in the for- 
est ? There all the space around me had 
seemed thick with foregone life, only the 
serene spirit of the trees was uncon- 
scious of it. 

Even the branches which reached 
within touch of humanity seemed to 
make their own atmosphere, and stand 
in beautiful and perfect harmony both 
with solitude and society, loving the one 
and accepting the other. It reminded me 
of some dear misplaced souls I have 
known, planted, and fast-grown amidst 
unworthy things, who have kept them- 
selves unspotted from the world, and by 
some alchemy of spirit brought out hid- 
den gold from life's unworthiness. 

And after all, if it is our instinct and 
mission to seek for, and enjoy, and profit 
by beauty we must realize that it lives 
everywhere, that it pervades the earth. 
It is easy to understand that our eyes, 
trained to recognize only material form 
and color, and the wonderful combina- 
tions of them in God's material world, 
may fail at times to recognize beauty in 
colorless miracles of spiritual growth, 
while in the sight of wide-eyed angels 
they may be the perfection of which the 
beautiful things in nature are but a type. 

The spirit of a heavenly-minded man 
may outgrow the height of the tallest 
elm and the love and brooding of a 
man-loving man may spread its arms 
beyond the breadth of the broadest oak. 

Is it not our true privilege in life, not 
only to love the highest beauty, both in 
nature and man, but to grow within our- 
selves the most perfect form and shape 
according to our kind, and to love with 
all our hearts the spiritual growth of other 
mortals, according to their kind ? They 
may be like baby firs, beautiful and entic- 
ing in youth, growing ragged and un- 
sightly with stress of years; or slender 
half-naked elm bodies, growing finally 
into power and strength; or helpless hu- 
man saplings, choked by the world but 
they have been planted in the world of 
spirits, and may be helped by wakeful 
love, or hindered by the want of it. 

All these suggestions came to me from 
a group of captive and tamed birch trees 
in the forest of Fontainebleau. Still in 
my mind its sisters remain forever and 
always nymphs of the woods and moun- 
tain; the sap of the forest coursing 
through their veins , vital with conscious 
life, and their graceful feet dancing the 
nymph-dance, in flecks of shadow, or 
gilding of sun. Sometimes on a windy 
day I have seen a group of them bending 
as if they longed to join the chase of 
the winds; and remembered my group 
of birches in the historical forest and was 
glad at heart to have known them both. 




THROUGH the garden sunset-window 

Shines the sky of rose; 
Deep the melting red, and deeper, 

Lovelier it grows. 

Musically falls the fountain; 

Twilight voices chime; 
Visibly upon the cloud-lands 

Tread the feet of Time. 

Evening winds from down the valley 

Stir the waters cool; 
Break the dark, empurpled shadows 

In the marble pool. 

Rich against the high-walled grayness 

The crimson lily glows, 
And near, O near, one well-loved presence 

Dream-like comes and goes. 


The gray walls of the garden 
Hold many and many a bloom; 

A flame of red against the gray 
Is lightning in the gloom. 

The gray walls of the garden 

Hold grassy walks between 
Bright beds of yellow blossoms. 

Golden against the green. 

And in the roof of the arbor 

Leaves woven through and through, 
Great grape leaves, making shadows, 

Shine green against the blue. 

And, O, in the August weather 
What wonders new are seen! 

In Helena's Garden 39 

Long beds of azure blossoms- 
Are blue against the green. 

The gray walls of the garden 

Hold paths of pure delight, 
And, in the emerald, blooms of pearl 

Are white against the night. 


The marble pool, like the great sea, hath moods 
Fierce angers, slumbers, deep beatitudes. 

In sudden gusts the pool, in lengthened waves, 
As in a mimic tempest, tosses and raves. 

In the still, drowsy, dreaming midday hours 

It sleeps and dreams among the dreaming flowers. 

'Neath troubled skies the surface of its sleep 
Is fretted; how the big drops rush and leap! 

Now 't is a mirror where the sky of night 
Sees its mysterious face of starry light; 

Or where the tragic sunset is reborn, 
Or the sweet, virginal mystery of morn. 

One little pool holds ocean, brink to brink; 
One little heart can hold the world, I think. 



What think you of the Table Round 
Which the garden's rustic arbor 
In pride doth harbor? 

And what its weight, how many a pound? 
Or shall you reckon that in tons? 
For this is of earth's mighty ones: 
A mill-stone 't is, that turns no more, 
But, on a pier sunk deep in ground. 
Like a ship that's come to shore, 
Content among its flowery neighbors 
It rests forever from its labors. 

40 In Helena's Garden 


Now no more 'mid grind and hammer 
Are the toiling moments past, 
But amid a milder clamor 
Stays it fast. 

For the Garden Lady here, 
When the summer sky is clear, 
With her bevy of bright daughters 
(Each worth a sonnet) 
To the tune of plashing waters 
Serves the tea upon it. 


And when Maria, and when Molly, 
Frances, Alice, and Cecilia, 
Clara, Bess, and Pretty Polly, 
Lolah and the dark Amelia, 
Come with various other ladies, 
Certain boys, and grown-ups graver, 
Then, be sure, not one afraid is 
To let his wit give forth its flavor, 
With the fragrant odor blent 
Of the Souchong, and the scent 
Of the roses and sweet-peas 
And other blossoms sweet as these. 
Then, indeed, doth joy abound 
About the granite table round, 
And the stream of laughter flowing 
Almost sets the old stone going. 


On the sun-dial in the garden 
The great sun keeps the time; 

A faint, small moving shadow, 

And we know the worlds are in rime: 

And if once that shadow should falter 
By the space of a child's eye-lash, 

The seas would devour the mountains, 
And the stars together crash, 

In Helena's Garden 41 


Something missing from the garden? 

But all 's bright there; 
Color in the daytime, 

Perfume in the night there. 

Something wanting in the garden? 

Yet the blossoms 
Bring the hum-birds to the sweetness 

In their bosoms. 

And by day the sunlight golden 

On the granite 
Glistens, and by night the silver starlight 

From some near planet. 

Something missing from the garden? 

But the mountain 
Ceaseless pours a secret streamlet 

Filmy from the fountain; 

And that streamlet winds blow, wave-like, 

Down the flowers, 
And in the mist faint, flickering rainbows 

Flash through mimic showers. 

Something wanting in the garden 

When all's bright there? 
Color in the daytime, 

Perfume in the night there? 

Then what missing from the garden 

Spoils its pleasance ? 
Just a breath of something human; 

Just one presence. 


Three blossoms in a happy garden grow, 
Have care, for this one, lo, is white as any snow: 
Its name is Peace. 

Three flowers, and one, in hue, a delicate gold ; 

A harsh breath, then its golden leaves shall droop and fold: 

Its name is Joy. 

42 In Helena's Garden 

Three flowers, and one is crimson, rich and strong; 
This will, if well entreated, all others outlive long: 
Its name is Love. 


The garden still is green 

And green the trees around, 

But the winds are roaring overhead 
And branches strew the ground. 

And to-day on the garden pool 

Floated an autumn leaf: 
How rush the seasons, rush the years, 

And, O, how life is brief! 


One by one the flowers of the garden 
To autumn yielded as waned the sun; 

So prisoners, called by the cruel Terror, 
To death went, one by one. 

Roses, and many a delicate blossom. 
Down fell their heads, in the breezes keen, 

One by one; and the frost of autumn 
Was the blade of their guillotine. 

And at last an hour when the paths of the garden 
Grew from green to a wintry white; 

And a new, strange beauty came into the garden 
In the full moon's flooding light. 

For a radiance struck on the columned fountain 
As it shot to the stars in a trembling stream, 

And a rainbow, leaping across the valley, 
Was the dream of a dream in a dream. 

And we who loved well that place of flowers 
Looked with awe on the wondrous birth, 

And knew that the last flower of the garden 
Was something not of earth. 



THE arroyo ran back from the river, 
among the gray hills, clear to the high 
basin which dammed in the early floods. 
There it held, deep in the rocky walls 
that leaned above it, wells of sweet, cool 
water which a traveler, avoiding the 
river-way for reasons of his own, found 
with great profit and relief. Adam was 
looking for these wells when he came 
upon Santa Olaya, dry- washing along the 
arroyo's upper edges. 

He was so close, leaning to gaze at her 
across the ridge of rock that had hid the 
arroyo from the deep trail till now, that 
he thought she must see him or have 
heard the sound that leaped to his lips 
at sight of her. But she never lifted her 
intent gaze from the gyrating dust that 
shifted rhythmically from her pan at the 
quiver of her bended wrists, a-top the 
straight young arms. 

Along the slopes rising out of the Agua 
Caliente, Adam had often come upon the 
Indian women, in the early mornings 
when the soft wind of the hills is grown 
persistent, winnowing their pounded 
wheat in just that way. But it was pound- 
ed gravel Santa Olaya winnowed. She 
stood at the upper edge of a tanned bul- 
lock's hide, spread on ground that sloped 
a little; then, poising the pan above her 
head, she leaned to the current of the 
wind, and, with that permeating quiver 
of the wrist that some believe belongs 
only to the Indian women, sent the 
dust in heaps of graded fineness across 
the hide at her feet. Adam knew she was 
no Indian maid, although her feet were 
moccasined, and her hair, parted from 
brow to nape, hung in two thick braids 
across her breast, as many an Indian 
girl in her pride wears hers; she was as 
lean and supple as he, with clean grace 
of limb and posture, and her hair was fair 

with the sun upon it, and under the tan 
of her cheek and throat and slim bare 
arms there was the glow of a white girl's 
blush. Adam watched her in delight of 

The winnowing was nearly over, the 
last bits of gravel rattled on the edge of 
the pan and skipped to their place on the 
hide, the pan swung down, slowly, to her 
side, and Santa Olaya turned her head 
and smiled into Adam's waiting eyes. 

"You are looking for the wells, sefior ?" 
she said, in sweet, foreign English. "Fol- 
low the trail you are on it ends there." 

Now Adam knew that, because his 
canteen clanked empty since the night 
before and he was looking for those wells, 
there was nothing for him to say but, 
"Thank you very kindly," and go on his 
way. If he had said anything, it would 
have been that he had already found the 
wells he sought. But he did not, he only 
slipped his pack to the ground and leaned 
a little further over the ledge and smiled 
back at Olaya. 

"The water there is still deep," she 
said. She stood quite still, the pan at her 
side. She was waiting for him to go on. 
It roused in Adam a desire to put that 
rocky ledge from between them, at least. 
He leaped upon it, lightly, and was about 
to drop into the arroyo when the girl's 
voice stopped him. 

"Don't come down here." 

It was not loud, not frightened at all, 
but very quiet and sure. Adam, half-way 
over, caught his balance on the ledge 
with knee and hand. 

"Why? "he said. 

"Because I don't want you here," said 
the girl. 

"Oh." Adam stayed on the ledge, but 
swung his legs over and came to a sitting 



Winnowing Gold 

"I don't want you there either." 

She did not smile now, but her grave- 
ness covered neither anger nor fear. 

"Does this belong to you?" Adam 
asked. He did not smile, either, in defer- 
ence to her lead. His tone instinctively 
fitted to her rather quaintly measured 
one, as one comes to the mood of a child 
by affecting its speech. 

The girl hesitated a moment. 

"Yes, it belongs to me." 

"You are not quite sure?" 

"It is you who doubt, senor," she an- 
swered quickly. She still looked directly 
into his eyes, and hers were so deep with 
unexplored sweetness that Adam's quiv- 
ered before them. 

"Are the wells yours, too?" he 
asked, to regain his self-possession. 

"No the water is free to all." 

"But gold is not?" 

The girl's face changed now. Her 
glance fell to the heaps of dust at her 
feet, a smile tugged at the corners of her 
mouth, fought with its gravity, and con- 
quered it. 

" That is true, senor. I do not wish 
to lose the gold." 

"Ah." Adam dropped into the arroyo. 
"There is no harm in me," he cried. "I 
am not after gold. I was only a thirsty 
man following the morning track of 
beasts ; but seeing you at your winnowing, 
think I have already drunk of cool water, 
sweet from the heart of the rocks." 

He strode down to her, and Olaya's 
eyes stayed wide in his. She stirred, the 
pan rattled to the ground, and her two 
hands clasped each other. 

"You must not come any nearer," she 
said, very simply. The hide with its dust 
heaps was between them. 

"No, I will not," Adam promised just 
as simply. 

"Did you miss the river- way?" she 
asked. Her eyes had not left his, but 
Adam felt she knew the whole of him, 
and it flushed him, cheek and heart. 

"No, I kept away from the river settle- 
ments I came this way on purpose." 
did not need a hidden way?" 

"Yes." He smiled at the startled 
trouble of her question. 

She turned quickly, then, to where an 
olla was sunk in wet sand under the 
shadow of leaning rocks, and dipped up a 
gourd full of water. "The thing has not 
driven you hard," she said, handing it to 
him. " Why is your canteen empty ?" 

"I may have been afraid to go where 
men draw water," he answered, and she 

"It was not fear of men," she said 
straight to him. 

"No, it was not fear of men," he an- 
swered back; but how did she know it 
was not, and what did that wide gaze, 
fearless itself, and firm and sweet, know 
of such other fears? Adam drank the 
water and she took the gourd from him, 
and they stood, staring openly at each 
other. There was no question in the girl's 
eyes, just a glad acceptance of his pre- 
sence and a very girlish satisfaction in 
the big breadth of his frame and comely 
accoutrements. But Adam's eyes sought 
for an answer, and the persistence of 
their seeking pierced her unconscious 
pleasure and sent her, suddenly bashful, 
to her work. She knelt at the edge of the 
bullock's hide, her face a-quiver with the 
revelation, and began, with a large horn 
spoon, to scoop up the dust and grains 
of a certain heap into the pan again. 
Adam came and knelt beside her. 

"Is it pay-dirt?" he asked, and in- 
stantly her face was all for serious busi- 

"Yes I have shaken it down three 
times and it is showing clean already. I 
can wash it through now." 

"Don't you lose a great quantity this 

"Not so much," she answered specu- 
latively. "I don't shake it down without 
a good wind. But if I lose I must I 
cannot dig and haul in the mines, so I 
dry- wash the arroyos that catch the drift 
from some bed above or cut the ledge 
and lay it bare for me." She dipped a 
gourd of water into the pan and began 
draining off the refuse. "It is good 

Winnowing Gold 


enough when I find an arroyo like this 
one," she added. 

"Good enough?" cried Adam, "I 
should think it would be! Does it come 
often like this?" He bent over the pan 
with a more eager face than the girl's, 
calculating the weight of the heap of yel- 
low grains. 

"Yes rarely better; but sometimes 
none at all. Yesterday I could not find 
where my good luck had hid away. You 
have brought her back to me, senor." 
She smiled at him over the little buck- 
skin bag into which she dropped the 

They were very close to each other as 
they knelt there, and Adam wished to 
touch her hair, to wind the long braids 
about her throat, to leave his hand 
against her cheek. He remembered a 
Mexican girl washing her linen on the 
stones of a little creek where he had 
come one warm, deep-scented day in 
October, and how the delicate quiver 
of the flesh just above the hollow of her 
bending arm had held the pleasure 
of his eyes until he had stooped and 
kissed it, not thinking of the girl at all. 
She had hid her face in a pleased trouble 
and then suddenly lifted it to his, and he 
had kissed her and gone on, and laughed 
to hear her singing as he climbed the hill. 
But about this girl there hung some es- 
sence of herself, like a nebula that shields 
the starlight. It held his very thought in 

He stood up when she did and watched 
her knot the treasure-bag about her waist. 

"What is your name?" said Adam. 


"You are not Mexican?" 


"Nor gypsy?" 


"What then?" 

"I do not know," said Olaya, looking 
gravely at him. 

"It does not matter," said Adam. 

The girl turned away and lifted the 
crowbar to continue her work. 

"I shall help you, Santa Olaya," said 

Adam decisively, and he took the crow- 
bar from her. Besides the pan and spoon 
it was the only tool she used, sharpened 
at each end, and so light as to be easily 

Olaya led the way to the ledge she 
was working; it had been exposed by 
a torrent cutting through the gorge in 
some spring wash-out. She accepted 
Adam's help as simply as she had ac- 
cepted him; showed him how to follow 
the ledge, scraping the surface carefully ; 
and with her spoon and pan she gathered 
up the earth he loosened and took it away 
to pound and prepare for the winnowing. 
She sang a little in the shade of the mes- 
quite tree that leaned from the edge of 
the arroyo, and Adam sang, too, sudden 
bursts of sound, starting up in him like 
laughter that comes because it must and 
knows no reason for itself. 

But when Olaya had spread the bul- 
lock's hide again and gone to the win- 
nowing, Adam had to watch her. It 
was so lovely a thing to him, the lithe 
young grace of her, the buoyant ease 
and grace of every movement, that made 
what she did as alluring as the step- 
ping of a young doe. Sometimes she 
turned to glance at him across her 
shifting-pan, and smiled with such art- 
less pleasure and comradeship when she 
found his look upon her, that Adam 
had to hold himself to keep at work, 
and not fling it all aside and take Olaya 
by the hand and go away to where the 
sun was hot on the hills, and the river 
shone up to them from its tarrying be- 
tween the banks of tufting arrow-weed, 
and the cottonwoods and willows flung 
their red bursting buds out on its brown 
flood. For it was spring in the desert, and 
the cattle left the flats to graze toward 
the mesas, in search of the first young 
grass just springing from between the 
stones. Adam could hear them lowing as 
they came. 

Olaya put down her pan when the sun 
was straight over them and said, "Now 
you will eat with me, senor." And Adam 


Winnowing Gold 

"Yes, I shall like to do that very 

He had plenty of food in the pack left 
on the trail, but it was part of his pleas- 
ure that Olaya should share her meal 
with him. It consisted of tortillas with 
thick slices of bacon between; and there 
was a generous piece of cheese. Olaya 
divided it unequally and gave Adam the 
larger share. When he protested she 
said, quite seriously, 

"No, that is right;" and he laughed 
and took it. 

She put the gourd full of water be- 
tween them and they drank from it, turn 

"I am very well content, Santa Olaya," 
said Adam. 

"I am content, too," she said; "but 
why do you call me Santa Olaya? I 
said to you only ' Olaya.' " 

"I do not know, Adam said, "only 
that it comes to me to call you so. Does 
no one else say 'Santa Olaya'?" 

"Yes, Father Bernardino does, but 
that is all." 

"Who is Father Bernardino?" 

"My dear friend and ghostly adviser." 

"The priest of the village where you 
live or don't you live in a village?" 

"I live in the settlement below here, 
and Father Bernardino lives close by the 
church, farther down the river. He is the 
priest for the reservations where there 
are Catholics, and for some of the river 
camps and settlements. He knows men 
arid is very good to them. He is good 
even to Mexicans, and I know it is a 
great cross to him that there are so many 
in the country he loves. Often, I 'm sure, 
he sets them a soft penance, because it 
punishes his own carnal desire to be 
cruel to them," said Olaya. 

"Why is he carnally wishful to be cruel 
to Mexicans?" 

"He is an Indian." 

"I have never heard of an Indian 

"He was raised by white men, and 
they gave him all a white man has and 
made him a priest. But they always re- 

membered what they had done for him, 
so the best of it was gone, and Father 
Bernardino came to speak of it himself, 
aloud, when they should have left it a 
warm, soft thing in his heart." Olaya 
hesitated a moment, considering. "Of 
course," she went on, "it is a very great 
thing to be a priest, but Father Ber- 
nardino says an untouched Indian is as 
much a spirit of earth and sky as the 
wind, and is so judged before God. 
There is great love and understanding 
between us," she added gently. 

"And do you wish, too, that they had 
left him an untouched Indian?" 

"Ah, he does not wish that, senor. 
The gratitude, too much spoken of, turns 
it about in his mind; and when there is 
the sound of wind in the brush where 
there is no wind, and the blue herons go 
up the river, he thinks about it and won- 
ders that is all. And I could never 
wish it no other priest would have 
kept watch along the banks in high water ; 
for my people came down the river in 
flood-time and were drowned, and Fa- 
ther Bernardino saw my little white head 
he says it was white then" she 
smiled tenderness for the little head into 
Adam's intent eyes "bobbing about 
in the eddy, and he had no boat. Now 
this is a miracle, senor, for the padre had 
never learned to throw a lasso, and he 
was a baby when he was taken to the 
cities by white men ; but he took the rope 
from his tethered cow and made the 
noose very deftly, and then cast it forth 
from the bank and covered my tiny head. 
' There was never a rough scratch, even, 
on my baby flesh when he brought me 
in so safe. It was a great miracle." 

"It was a very beautiful miracle," said 

"Father Bernardino," said Olaya, 
looking thoughtfully at her brown, dusty 
hands, "says it was no miracle at all, 
because, from clear back in the begin- 
ning, his fathers had thrown the lasso, 
and he had to, that was all." 

"I think that is the miracle," said 
Adam softly. 

Winnowing Gold 


"Oh," Santa Olaya whispered, look- 
ing a long time into Adam's eyes and not 
seeming to know that he was looking 
into hers, "7 think that way, too." Then 
she looked off at the hills, her eyes shy 
and misty with this new discovery. 

"And the padre called you Santa 
Olaya and took care of you, and you 
are dry-washing the gulches to get gold 
for his missions?" 

"No," said Olaya hastily, "no, the 
Sefiora is my guardian. If I had been a 
boy he would have kept me, and taught 
me to be a priest, maybe; but I was a girl, 
and the Sefiora and her people took me 
I do this work for them. But Father 
Bernardino had great care of me, always, 
and taught me." 

"What did he teach you?" 

"Oh, to read his books, and the mean- 
ing of wind and great stillness, and to 
know the stars for safety, and the use of 
herbs, and about the earth, and the dif- 
ference between good and evil, and the 
needs of animals, and the knowledge of 

"The knowledge of men ?" 

"Father Bernardino knows men, and 
he would have me know them, too, be- 
cause, it is never to lack in time of need, 
he says." 

"But it is only a small settlement, 
Olaya. Whom do you ever see besides 
do you see many men ?" 

"Yes," said Olaya gravely, "always 
I have seen many men. The Sefiora her- 
self has seven sons ; and there are a great 
many white men and Mexicans they 
come and go always, but always, too, 
there are many of them." She started up 
suddenly, with an anxious eye to the sun. 
"It is time for the work to go on," she 
cried, "and I have loitered too long;" 
then with some wistful apology, "but 
sefior, there are days at a time that I do 
not speak to living things except the word 
night and morning it was your kind- 
ness to let me talk." 

They worked again as through the 
morning, and Adam wondered idly 
enough what the Sefiora did with all the 

gold; for he knew from the pannings of 
that morning that the little buckskin bag 
carried, from day to day, what must be 
wealth in a Mexican village. It did not 
matter, he thought, but he would like to 
fancy the use of it so fair a thing to follow 
upon the beauty of the girl at work, as to 
bring a very certain delight when he knew 
it. She looked up at him just then from 
where she knelt, draining the last pan. 

"Olaya," he said, "why do you take 
this gold to the Sefiora?" 

Olaya answered him with the straight- 
forward simplicity that marked every- 
thing she said: "Because she and her 
people cared for me in my little helpless 
days and have always been very good to 


That was all. She rose from her work 
with a glance at the canon's side where 
the dusk was stealing on. 

"It is time you made your camp, 
sefior, before the dark hides it. Just 
above the wells, you climb along the walls 
there, do you see ?" She came and stood 
by Adam and sketched his trail for him 
with outstretched hands. "There is the 
clump of bisnaga at the base go just 
beyond it up the ravine ten steps, and 
there are two palo verdes on a little shelf 
- they will give you wood for your fire 
and 't is clean there and hid away. Once 
I was afraid to go home and I stayed 
there all night." 

"I will camp jthere. Why were you 
afraid to go home?" 

"Oh," said Olaya indifferently, stow- 
ing the tools away under a bush, "I had 
panned nothing for two days, and there 
is no beauty in an empty hand." Then, 
lifting herself, she unknotted a blue ker- 
chief from about her waist, shook it out, 
and smoothed it upon her knee, and 
placed it corner wise over her head. She 
caught the ends, fluttering by her ears, 
and held them under her chin. 

"I thank you, sefior," she said, smiling 
shyly at Adam. "Adios." 

"I am going with you." 

"Oh." They stood again to stare at 


Winnowing Gold 

each other, Olaya, with protest strug- 
gling through desire, and the mastery of 
Adam's eyes over her. She turned slowly 
down the trail. He was at her shoulder. 

"It is very far," she said, turning her 
head ever so little, "and it will be very 
. dark even before we can get there." 

"That is why I am going," said 

The trail was narrow and rough, and 
slippery with loose stones that had been 
washed free of encompassing earth down 
the ragged ravines and gulches in many 
a roaring flood-time. But Olaya's inoc- 
casined feet did not heed them, and she 
set a swinging pace through the tumble 
of gray hills, which hurried Adam to 
keep his post at her shoulder. Against 
the coming night the brush and stunted 
chollas of the hillsides were beginning to 
crouch weirdly. 

"Do you often go as late as this ? " said 
Adam. The flutter of her kerchief was 
against his cheek. 

"When I have found only a little gold 
it is later sometimes very late and 
the coyotes stand still on the ridges there, 
against the sky, and watch me some- 
times they howl." 

"Does no one come for you when it is 
so late?" 

"It is better alone," said Santa Olaya. 
In a moment she added, "One is not 
afraid of night and coyotes but if they 
howl I shall be glad that you are there 
behind me." 

"You feel safe with me, Olaya?" 

" Why not ? " she said, turning her wide 
eyes to him for a second; "a man who is 
not afraid does not make others fear." 

And Adam pondered on the meaning 
of it. 

They had come through the tumble of 
gray hills to an open valley close to the 
river and fed by its overflow, for the 
arrow-weed grew rank here, and they 
could hear the cattle chewing their cud 
under the mesquite trees. Now and again 
a gaunt steer stood across the trail and 
only moved on at the slap of Olaya's 
hand upon his flank. The air blew in 

cool off the river, and the smell of damp 
earth and rotting twigs and pungent 
marsh things came about them. 

" We are near the river ? " asked Adam. 

"Yes, beyond this turn I can see the 
lights from the houses." Olaya slowed 
her pace. 

"I will see them, too," Adam answered. 

"It will be such a blackness to make 
camp in," she pleaded. 

" I do not mind the blackness." 

" You will not know the way back." 

" I can find it," said Adam. He had 
accepted the joy of her, in the beginning, 
without a thought of who she was out- 
side of the golden arroyo. But now his 
mind was busy about her and gravely 
troubled. She had told her own story 
only for the sake of the priest's miracle. 
And who was this guardian and her peo- 
ple, who let her work so hard and so late 
that she must needs scurry through those 
wild canons long after nightfall, or stay 
alone in the weird gorges of the "hidden 
way," because she was afraid to go home 
without gold ? And among those Mexi- 
cans she was of his own blood 
Adam knew that 

"There are the lights," she cried, and 
stood still. He came beside her, and for a 
moment they watched the bleared lights 
from the low jacals of the river-flats. 
" There are the lights," she said again. 
"You must go back, and I thank you, 

" Is there no white man's house in that 
village?" he asked. 

" No." 

" Do you live in one of those jacals ? " 

" Yes." 

"Which one?" 

She twisted the corners of her kerchief 
into a knot under her chin. " Maybe we 
cannot see its light from here," she said ; 
" it is just one among the rest. Adios, 

" Olaya, will you come winnowing to- 
morrow ? " 

" Yes, but you will be gone early on 
your hidden trail." 

"Will you be sorry?" 

Winnowing Gold 


" Yes." 

" Sorry to have me gone because I 
brought your good luck back is it that, 
Olaya ? " 

" No," said Olaya. She moved along 
quickly and then stopped, and he waited. 
" I think it was because you came and 
will be gone to-morrow and I do 
not remember if the coyotes howled to- 

" I shall be there to-morrow," he 
cried, " and the next day, and after! " 

" Oh! " she stood still a second longer. 
" What is your name ? " 

" Adam." 

" Adios, Senor Adam," she called 
softly, and he heard the flurry of her feet 
down the trail. 

In the days that followed in the arroyo 
d' oro for that was what Adam called 
it, and Olaya smiled with eyes that tried 
to elude the import too bold in his 
Adam forgot why he had fled from his 
own world of men and cities to wander up 
and down in unfrequented places. He 
even forgot, at whiles, to consider the 
mystery of Olaya's life away from their 
common one in the arroyo. He came 
down from his camp with the first light 
each morning and filled the olla among 
the rocks with fresh water for her, and 
waited there until she came suddenly out 
of the hills with no warning of slipping 
stone or rattling bush, and greeted him. 
She was never quite sure that he would 
be there the next morning, and the glad 
surprise of it was always in her eyes to 
give Adam fresh bounty for his dallying. 

They worked together, he at the dig- 
ging, she at the grinding and winnowing, 
and then, when the gold began showing 
clean, washed it through and murmured 
together in satisfaction if it were rich, and 
hopefully explained the reason to each 
other when it panned thin. At noon they 
ate tortillas and bacon and cheese to- 
gether under the mesquite tree, and 
looked their contentment, one to the 
other, across the gourd-rim, and talked 
of whatever Olaya would of the In- 
dian priest, the river and sky and green- 
VOL. 102 -NO. 1 

ing earth, and the secrets of the thorny, 
desert shrubs never of her life in the 
village, or of the Senora and her people. 
But the omission was so uncontrived that 
it left in Adam an utter inability to ask a 
question without a show of most un- 
seemly prying. And although Adam 
talked, too, and Olaya listened and for- 
got to look away from his eyes, inquiring, 
always, in her sweet unconscious long- 
ing, for all his meaning, yet it piqued him 
that never once did she ask a question or 
show that she thought beyond his wish 
to tell. 

" It is the Indian training," he said 
to himself; it was this Indian training 
that charmed and baffled him by turns. 

It was when night came on, and Olaya 
was troubled with the slimness of the 
buckskin bag or elated over its bulk, that 
Adam's mind grew busy again with the 
desire to know what the need could be for 
so much gold that she should be allowed 
to come, unthought-of and uncared-for, 
except for the full bag she brought home, 
into those lonely canons, to work at a 
man's work that fair young thing, com- 
panionless in those solitary wilds. Adam's 
thoughts were very turbulent. This was 
at night when the shadows were deep- 
ening fast, and there was the long trail 
yet to take, and he fretted at the peril of 
her nights, and days too, past before 
he came to- her. In the mornings the 
longing to be with her again recon- 
ciled him to anything that brought her, 
clear-eyed and joyous, back to the golden 

" Olaya," he said suddenly, as they 
were taking the homeward trail one night, 
"does Father Bernardino wish to have 
you work so hard, away off in these 
lonely places ? " 

There was a moment's hesitation be- 
fore Olaya said, "Father Bernardino is 
the guardian of my spiritual being." And 
then, as though the intimacy of their com- 
panionship might have the right to a little 
confidence, she added, " If some one who 
has done you a big kindness remembers 
it so that it comes to be spoken ever 


Winnowing Gold 

aloud, it cannot just be warm and still in 
your heart any more, and you must make 
up that kindness twice over in whatever 
way you may, senor. If you cannot, your 
soul will shrivel a little, ever so little, 
with the thing growing cold in you. Fa- 
ther Bernardino knows this, as I have 
told you, and he is very glad that the 
arroyos of the river hold gold that a girl 
may come by. There are other ways to 
pay the kindness ways that might 
stain one's soul, too, as well as the hands. 
Father Bernardino and I have talked of 
these things," she ended simply. 

Then Adam, given this, was troubled 
yet a little more, but hopeful, too, and 
asked no more questions until a little 
ripple of very girlish laughter came to 
him across Olaya's shoulder. 

" What is it, Olaya? " he begged. 

" When you remember, Senor Adam, 
what you have done for me, what a woe 
it will be, and the sweet that will turn 
brackish for I can never repay." 

" Olaya," Adam cried, with a sudden 
emotion, "it is you who have done the 
big kindness you have kept me out of 
hell. I came in terrible need and you 
wiped out my trouble! " And straight- 
way, being spoken of, the trouble began 
buzzing again, very dully, in Adam's 

It was the very next morning that 
Olaya glanced up from the shifting-pan 
at Adam, who could never let her win- 
nowing go unwatched, and saw him, 
standing very still, looking with straining 
eyes through the rift in the hills to the 
river. He had forgotten his surroundings, 
and when he came back to them it was 
to go restlessly about, plucking here and 
here at the brush, or to kick a stone 
down a pathway, following it idly to kick 
it on again. He worked in sudden bursts 
of energy all day, but forgot to sing. 
When they ate their noon-day meal under 
the mesquite tree, he could not talk, and 
Olaya, too, was very silent. In the after- 
noon, as he wandered near where she was 
pounding gravel, he caught her watching 
him furtively, with troubled eyes. He 

laughed, and sat down beside her, and 
told her he was as restless as a bad devil 
who had been cinched, and she answered, 
" Si, senor," and they worked silently 

The next day Adam came late to the 
arroyo and the olla was unfilled. He was 
haggard from lack of sleep, and worn with 
tramping all night long. He sat moodily 
under the mesquite tree, his elbows on 
his knees and his chin on his clenched 
knuckles. Later, he tried to rouse himself 
and went to see how much Olaya had 
panned that day. He had avoided look- 
ing at her, having much shame in him, 
but he could not leave the arroyo, and 
she had been good to greatness in keep- 
ing her eyes off him, not to give him the 
irritation of being watched. She smiled, 
with the knowledge of brooding trouble 
wiped out of her eyes, and held up the 
pan she had just finished draining. 

" It is the best of all, senor," she said. 
It was a rich panning, and the gleam from 
the tiny grains flashed like a line of fire 
across the blackness of Adam's mood. 
He was on his knees by her in a second. 
He caught up the yellow grains in his 
hand, fingering them eagerly, his lips 
moving in some quick calculation. He 
did not see that Olaya watched his face 
with wistful concern. He did not see her 
at all. When she held open the buckskin 
bag he dropped the gold in, the leaping 
fire dying from his eyes as suddenly as 
it had flashed up. He rose to his feet 
again, making some further effort to cast 
off the shadow of the past two days. 

" You have taken many rich pannings 
from this arroyo, Olaya," he said idly. 

" Yes, and they doubled with your 
coming, senor." 

"Is the Senora very well satisfied with 
what you bring her ? " 

" Yes." 

" What does she do with it? " The 
question was out at last, surprising Adam 
as much as it did Olaya. 

She looked straight up at him from 
where she was getting her next pan 

Winnowing Gold 


"I have never asked you why you 
needed a hidden way," she said. 

Adam started, reddening violently. 
When he could speak he said, " Olaya, 
I knew that was the thing you guarded; 
I did not mean to force you into chiding 
me the gold brought it out. But it is 
the thing I have most wanted to know 
what the Sefiora and those seven sons do 
with the gold. It has come to me more 
and more that it is not a good thing; if 
it menaces you I've got to know it, 

She answered him gravely: " It is not 
of me, so I have not told it. It is all of 
them; and it does not menace me, senor. 
Also it was not fair of me to say that I 
had not asked you why you came by hid- 
den ways; if I had not known I might 
have asked you I do not think so, but 
I might." 

Adam glanced at her quickly. " Know 
why I keep away from the towns, why 
how could you?" 

" You have told me very often." 

Adam laughed in some relief. ** How 
have I told you ? " he asked. 

"Ah, how can I remember a little 
word, your mouth; a look your eyes 
that have so much in them way behind." 
Olaya stood up now and the girlishness 
slipped away from her she was a 
woman, very stern and appealing. " You 
looked at me over the ledge that morning 
with eyes that were glad of what they 
looked at because oh, you did not say 
it in your head but because you were 
forgetting while you looked. It was some 
wrong to yourself, senor it was not 
murder, it was not wrong to a woman, 
nor any hateful little thing like theft 
it was a wrong to yourself that you love 
so you will not put it by you will not, 

" Yes," said Adam, staring at her. 

" ' Yes,' you say ; you could for you 
so easy you could say, * It is over, 
there ; ' and make it over ; but you love 
it so you will not, and let it chase you up 
and down like a coyote, over all the hid- 
den trails. And two days ago I saw that 

thing steal into this arroyo that that 
you have called the arroyo d 'oro, for its 
secret meaning to you and to me, and 
write its name on your face I know it ! 
I have seen that thing before! " 

It was still light, but Olaya gathered 
her tools and hid them away in the 
brush. She knotted the buckskin bag 
about her waist and undid the blue 
kerchief and smoothed it deftly over her 
knee. Adam watched her. His face was 
drawn in lank, white lines, like a 
starched garment. 

" May I go with you ? " He tried 
to smile at her, but his lips could not. 
The thing in his eyes was worse than 
tears. " You once said that a man who 
was not afraid did not make others fear. 
Now that you know I am afraid, will 
it be better on the trail alone?" 

" You may always come, senor," said 

So they went down through the tumble 
of gray hills together without a word, 
passed the cattle, coming up from their 
night drinking at the river to chew their 
cud under the mesquite trees, and when 
they came to the turn of the hill above the 
village, the lights were beginning to come 
out in all the squalid jacals of the flats. 
As they stood there for the moment, to- 
gether, Adam could have flung himself 
down and clung about her knees with the 
whole hateful heart of him poured out to 
its cleansing. But he did not. He only 
said, a little too gayly, 

" Adios, my Saint Olaya." 

"Is it to drive you out again to- 
morrow, senor," she asked timidly. " Is 
it for always ? " 

" Yes," he said, pitching his voice so 
he could handle it. "I think it is. You 
have been very it has been the 
morning I saw you 

" Do not say it," she cried, in a broken 
whisper, and then, rallying a little, 
" Adios, senor, I thank you." And she 
was away like a fleeing deer. 

Adam did not go back to his camp, but 
sat down close to the trail and tried to 
think what he would do. Above all else 

Winnowing Gold 

he must have Olaya. He knew that the 
moment she took flight. And then he put 
his head down on his knees and said to 
himself that she was right: if he could 
once say, " It is over," it would be; but 
he would not say it. He told himself, too, 
that if she had been kind to him he could 
have thrown off the curse then and there. 
It was an easy refuge, that thought, " if 
she had been kind to him ; " and he stayed 
in it a long time. When shame dragged 
him out of it at last, he was up and 
started along the village road. He did 
not know just what he was going to do 
except find Olaya, and there was a dumb 
sort of prayer in him that he would find 
her soon. From all the jacals along the 
outskirts lean dogs ran out to bark at 
him and snap at his heels and run yelp- 
ing away. He kicked against a bone or 
tin can every second or two, and tangled 
bits of wire caught on his boot and 
tripped him. He could see the dim out- 
lines of donkeys and hear the thud of 
their hobbled feet as they nosed about 
the dooryards for refuse melon-rinds. 
Everywhere there rose the indescribable 
smell of a Mexican village. 

The lights were very few and dim in 
the centre of the village. Olaya had said 
the place in which she lived was only 
"one among the others," and Adam won- 
dered where to ask for her. A little back 
from the road, and shielded along the 
front by mesquite trees and palo verdes, 
there was a long adobe building which 
was not a jacal at all, but which Adam 
thought might be a store, only it was 
away from the central traffic of the high- 
way. He went close to it and saw that 
there was light coming from the chinks 
in its wooden shutters. He went around 
this house, wondering how late it was, 
and if he should knock, and what Olaya 
would say how she would look when 
he found her. And then his thought lost 
any shape at all with the throbbing in 
his throat. 

At the far side of the house, against 
the hills, there was an unshuttered 
window that drew Adam slowly to its 

gray light. He went up to it hesitat- 
ingly, and peered through. The instant 
he saw the interior, he was on his knees 
with his face flattened against the pane 
and his hands shielding the reflection. 
The room was low-ceilinged and white- 
washed, with kerosene lamps hung at 
intervals from the rafters and on oppo- 
site walls; but what was filling Adam's 
eyes was the ten or more smooth, shining 
tables, the strained, sallow faces above 
them, the piles of silver, the little heaps 
of golden nuggets, and the cards. He 
looked until his eyes were red holes in 
his head and his lips dragged free of his 
teeth and his breath whistled in and out. 

Some one came down the centre of 
the room and broke the spell only to fix 
it deeper. It was a Mexican woman, old 
and very fat, but with erect, complacent 
shoulders. A man at a table near-by 
raised his eyes to her and she went to 
deal there. Adam could see the man wet 
his lips with his tongue and glance fur- 
tively at his companion. He put his hand 
up to his own mouth and wiped away the 
slaver that was smearing it, and then 
began feeling through his pockets, hur- 
riedly, and spying about the room for 
the entrance. There was a heavy, rough- 
hewn door at one end, and Adam thought 
some one leaned against the lintel there; 
but it was too dark to be sure it might 
be a hanging garment. The trouble and 
fight of the two days past was out of his 
face now ; his eyes were black with a gust 
of new life. He crept along the wall and 
around the corner and tapped, ever so 
lightly; then he leaned against the jamb, 
for he was trembling. 

A firm hand unlatched the door and 
swung it back quickly, but Adam had 
time to think that it really must have been 
some one close to the door that he had 
seen almost the hand on the latch 
waiting for his signal. He drew himself 
up from the door-jamb, and then caught 
at it again, checked with such sudden 
reaction that he leaned there bewildered, 
for Olaya stood between him and the 
light of the room beyond. Shame swept 

A New Life of Lady Mary Worthy Montagu 


over him first, and then understanding 
came in a great rush, carrying him out 
of himself, and with that, the full revela- 
tion of those days in the golden arroyo. 

Olaya's eyes, scornful and appealing, 
searched his face. 

" Will you come in sefior? " she 

" No," said Adam. He caught hold 
of her hand. "Come away," he said, 
" come away from this come," and he 
dragged her out of the doorway. 

She swung the big door to behind her, 
and for a second they stood, breathing 
fast, and each blinking to see the other's 
face in the sudden darkness. And then 
Adam's hands groped for her and she 
was in his arms, being hurried, stum- 
bling along, to the road. "Sefior Adam! 
Sefior Adam ! " she kept whispering, but 
it was from out her own clinging arms 
that soothed him. 

" You ! " he said at last. " You to come 
out of a hell like that you! " 

" I have not been there much, sefior. 
I dry- wash the arroyos to keep from it; 
only just now I have been two or three 

" How could you how could you 
if that harpy made you 

" She did not make me, sefior. I 
feared you would come I knew you 
would come I had to be there ! " 

" You knew I would come? " 

" Yes, sefior," she pleaded, and 
laughed through her pleading because 
his arms were so close they hurt her. 
" Where are you taking me, sefior ? " 

" Where is that priest who taught you 
to know men ? " 

" Are we going to him? " whispered 
Olaya, turning her face down the river. 

" Yes." 

" This is the way, senor." 



THE LETTERS of Lady Mary, as ed- 
ited by Mr. W. Moy Thomas, with the 
editor's Memoir, and the Introductory 
Notes of her granddaughter, Lady Lou- 
isa Stuart, had, I confess, never been 
able to dispel the impression of that 
female wit left by the two satirists, who 
in succession link the whole eighteenth 
century together with a chain of glitter- 
ing scandal. So much is there omitted 
from her correspondence, so much of the 
panegyric must be taken on credit, that 
in the end memory still reads under the 
portrait Pope's "Furious Sappho" and 
Walpole's " Moll Worthless." 

Unfortunately, it cannot be said that 
the new work l by Miss E. M. Symonds 

1 Lady Mary Wortley Montagu and Her 
Times. By GEORGE PASTON. New York: 
G. P. Putnam's Sons. 1907. 

(" George Paston ") clears up the real 
obscurity of her career, for at the very 
critical point of the story the docu- 
ments are still in part missing and in 
part withheld. But it does add a good 
deal to our knowledge of another period, 
and so far serves strongly to justify the 
wife at the expense of the husband. 
I say period, for Lady Mary's life, more 
than is commonly the case, was sharply 
marked off by circumstances. There are 
at the beginning the years of her court- 
ship and early married experience ; these 
are followed by the long journey through 
Europe and the residence in Turkey; 
then, for the third period, we find her 
again in Great Britain, now a confessed 
belle and wit, one of the leaders of the 
notorious circle of Twickenham; and, 
last, comes the lonely exile in Italy and 

A New Life of Lady Mary Wortley Montagu 

France, with the final journey home to 
arrange her affairs and to die. 

Now, for one of these periods, the first, 
Miss Symonds has a mass of new and 
really enlightening material. By the kind- 
ness of the Earl of Harrowby she was per- 
mitted to examine the Wortley- Montagu 
manuscripts at Sandon Hall, where she 
found a hundred and more unpublished 
letters from Lady Mary, with some fifty 
or sixty written by Mr. Wortley; and it is 
no exaggeration to say that the portions 
of these printed in the present memoir 
give us the clue to one of the most ex- 
traordinary tales of courtship and elope- 
ment ever enacted. 

Mary Pierrepont was born in London, 
in 1689, her father being the great- 
grandson of the first Earl of Kingston 
and himself afterwards the fifth earl. Her 
infancy she passed with her grandmother, 
but from her eighth year, her mother and 
grandmother being both dead, she grew 
up without any proper feminine over- 
sight. Her father, she says in an auto- 
biographical fragment, " though natur- 
ally an honest man, was abandoned to 
his pleasures, and (like most of those of 
his quality) did not think himself obliged 
to be very attentive to his children's edu- 
cation." But he was at least proud of 
his little daughter, and one of his acts 
shows her in a situation so picturesque 
in itself and so significant, that it cannot 
be omitted here, however familiar it may 
be from repetition. Lady Louisa Stuart 
tells the story: 

" As a leader of the fashionable world, 
and a strenuous Whig in party, he of 
course belonged to the Kit-Cat Club. 
One day, at a meeting to choose toasts 
for the year, a whim seized him to nomi- 
nate her, then not eight years old, a can- 
didate; alleging that she was far prettier 
than any lady on their list. The othqr 
members demurred, because the rules of 
the club forbade them to elect a beauty 
whom they had never seen. ' Then you 
shall see her,' cried he; and in the gaiety 
of the moment sent orders home to have 
her finely dressed and brought to him at 

the tavern, where she was received with 
acclamations, her claim unanimously 
allowed, her health drunk by every one 
present, and her name engraved in due 
form upon a drinking-glass. The com- 
pany consisting of some of the most emi- 
nent men in England, she went from the 
lap of one poet, or patriot, or statesman, 
to the arms of another, was feasted with 
sweetmeats, overwhelmed with caresses, 
and, what perhaps already pleased her 
better than either, heard her wit and 
beauty loudly extolled on every side. 
Pleasure, she said, was too poor a word 
to express her sensations ; they amounted 
to ecstasy; never again, throughout her 
whole future life, did she pass so happy 
.a day." 

Poor little lady! it seems that even in 
childhood she was to be the victim of her 
wit and beauty; she little recked how 
ruthlessly in later life men were to deal 
with these lauded gifts. But there was an 
extraordinary trial of patience and sub- 
mission for her to undergo before she 
came to the real battle of life. Among her 
girl friends in London were Anne and 
Katherine Wortley Montagu, at whose 
home she became acquainted with that 
small wit and unconscionable prig, Ed- 
ward Wortley Montagu, the friend of 
Addison and Steele, the " Gripus " and 
" Avidien " of Pope. 

When, in 1709, she went to Thoresby 
in the country she must of course ex- 
change letters with her dear Anne at 
Wharncliffe some thirty miles away, and 
what more natural than that the brother 
should take a hand in the correspond- 
ence ? At first he merely directs his sister, 
speaking of himself in the third person; 
but he becomes more and more in evi- 
dence, and after the death of Anne, in 
that same year, we find him writing to 
Lady Mary as a professed but secret lover. 
He did indeed approach her father for 
her hand, and was at first favored. But 
an obstinate quarrel soon arose over the 
settlements; Mr. Wortley, who showed 
early the penurious traits that afterwards 
grew to a vice, refused to settle property 

A New Life of Lady Mary Wortley Montagu 


on an unborn heir who might as in- 
deed he proved in the sequence to do 
turn out a spendthrift and wanton; 
while Lady Mary's father would not risk 
seeing his grandchildren left beggars. 
Pin-money and jointures also came in 
to embitter the wrangle. Mr. Wortley's 
arguments on that topic may be read 
in one of the Taller papers, worked up 
by Steele from his notes, and the whole 
ignoble dispute furnished Richardson 
with his material for the episode of Sir 
Thomas Grandison and his daughter 

The twists and turns of the corre- 
spondence that followed between the 
young man and the young woman, the 
clandestine meetings at the house of 
Richard Steele and elsewhere, the secret 
messengers, the bribery of servants, the 
evasions and hesitations, the romantic 
elopement in the end all these may be 
read in the letters quoted by Miss Sy- 
monds ; a tale not easily matched in the 
tortuous-wooing fiction of the age. In 
the end Lady Mary comes out far better 
than her swain; it is clear that she fell 
heartily in love with her incomprehen- 
sible suitor, and endured his bickerings 
and insulting insinuations despite the 
protests of reason and pride. She has her 
maidenly reserves in language, and at 
times she can argue with canny prudence ; 
but on the whole one gets from her let- 
ters the impression of a troubled com- 
mon sense and of a natural girlishness 
playing the role of wisdom. 

Mr. Wortley is simply an insufferable 
egoist; it is not easy to use language too 
strong for his ignoble jealousies. He has 
been compared, not inaptly, with Sir 
Willoughby Patterne, .a very stodgy 
and mercenary Sir Willoughby, one must 
add, and Lady Mary in these early 
years might be likened not unfairly to 
Clara Middleton. Mr. Wortley's game is 
simply to draw out the lady's unshamed 
confession of love without compromising 
his own calculating reserve, and to sub- 
due her to complete absorption in him- 
self without surrendering any of his own 

precious independence. It is, in the sec- 
ond part at least, a well-recognized mas- 
culine sport, but you resent the spectacle 
when the fairest and wittiest woman in 
England is the victim, and you are not 
unprepared to pardon if in due time she 
gets her revenge. 

This intriguing despotism might be 
dismissed with calling the gentleman a 
cad, or a " puppy," to take the word of 
his own day, but you cannot help asking 
all the while what it is that so keeps his 
suspicions and jealousies on edge. Grant- 
ed the initial wrong of deceiving her 
father, the language and acts of Lady 
Mary were, so far as they appear, with- 
out reproach. At first his complaints are 
inexplicable, and then, as you read, a 
certain note comes up so frequently that 
you begin to discern a reason which, if 
it does not excuse, yet throws some light 
on his uneasiness. " Could any woman," 
he says, " write with so much wit, and be 
so much upon her guard, with one she 
was afraid of losing?" And again, "I 
beg you will this once try to avoid being 
witty, and to write in a style of business, 
tho' it should appear to you as flat as 
mine." And still more frankly, " Shall I 
tell you how to deceive me, if you think 
it worth your while? Avoid seeming 
witty (which all do naturally when they 
are serious), and say nothing that does 
not seem probable." 

The simple fact is that this dull, 
plodding fellow felt the superiority of 
Lady Mary's mind, and winced at it. 
He could not understand her vivacity, 
which at once attracted and discon- 
certed him. It is the same story that 
makes the whole triumph and trag- 
edy of her life. As a wit precociously 
versed in the classics and endowed with 
the seemingly incongruous charm of 
beauty, Lady Mary first attracted her 
husband and afterwards conqmered so- 
ciety ; it was the same quality that awak- 
ened his suspicions and in the end helped 
to drive her out of England. She might 
well have wished the words of Ovid in- 
scribed on her tomb: INQENIO PERU, 


A New Life of Lady Mary Wortley Montagu 

trusting that the world would not add: 
tenerorum lusor amorum. 

But of her character as a wit it will be 
time to speak more specifically when she 
has returned from Constantinople in the 
fullness of her reputation. For a while 
after her marriage, in 1712, she was con- 
siderately kept in the country, while her 
jealous and already neglectful lord at- 
tended to business and pleasure and 
commonly the two were one to that pru- 
dent soul in the city. Part of the time 
she was alone, at other times she stayed 
with her husband's relatives or was 
graced with his own condescending pre- 
sence. There were cares of house-furn- 
ishing and housekeeping to occupy her, 
and in due season the nursing of her son, 
who was to turn out one of the reproaches 
of England and the particular horror of 
his mother. She endured dutifully these 
years of surly neglect, but the experience 
left its sting, and apparently helped to 
harden her character. " I was then 
[1714] in Yorkshire," she afterwards 
wrote. " Mr. W. (who had at that time, 
that sort of passion for me, that would 
have made me invisible to all but himself, 
had it been in his power) had sent me 
thither. He stayed in town on the ac- 
count of some business, and the Queen's 
death detained him there." The fretful 
ennui of " The Bride in the Country " 
forms the subject of one of .her satirical 

But release was near. She had aided 
her husband as she could, and even 
pushed him forward in his political am- 

In 1716 Mr. Wortley was appointed 
Ambassador to the Porte, and on Au- 
gust 1, he, with his wife, three-year-old 
son, and suite set out for Constantinople. 
I shall not follow them on their journey 
across the Continent, nor try to give an 
account of what Lady Mary saw, and so 
vividly described, in Paris and Vienna, in 
the wild regions of Hungary, and then in 
the home of the Turk. She was an ideal 
traveler, adapting herself facilely to the 
customs of the place, and feeling no prud- 

ish alarm at the different moral codes 
that met her. In particular she writes 
with curious complacency of the Aus- 
trian " sub-marriages," and remarks of 
the Italian ladies that " the custom of 
cicisbeos has very much improved their 
airs." It is only fair to add her amusing 
apology from Vienna: " I'll assure you, 
a lady, who is very much my friend here, 
told me but yesterday, how much I was 
obliged to her for justifying my conduct 
in a conversation on my subject, where 
it was publicly asserted that I could not 
possibly have common sense, that I had 
been about town above a fortnight, and 
had made no steps towards commencing 
an amour." And at Constantinople she 
found the ways of life peculiarly to her 
taste; the Turkish women she declared 
to be " the only free people in the em- 

All these things she described in let- 
ters of which, after the manner of the 
age, she kept faithful, or unfaithful, 
copies, or which she afterwards wrote up 
for the half-public from her diaries. On 
them her fame as a writer depends almost 
exclusively to-day, and it must be ad- 
mitted that they fully deserve their repu- 
tation. Letters of travel somehow have 
generally less staying power than those 
from home; what they give can be better 
given in a formal treatise, while they miss 
the little touches of satire and friendship, 
the pleasant familiarities, the display of 
character at ease in its proper environ- 
ment, which make the charm or the 
humor of the best correspondence. These 
qualities for the most part Lady Mary's 
epistles, as they may be called, do not 
possess. But they have other traits, rarer, 
if less engaging. She shows a kind of 
familiarity with things strange, which 
carries the reader with her. Her lan- 
guage is clear and firm, but less formal 
than that of Pope and Bolingbroke and 
the other professed epistolary authors of 
the day. She puts a curb on their in- 
curable trick of dealing in moral plati- 
tudes. In a word, she strikes the happy 
and difficult balance between the general 

A New Life of Lady Mary Wortley Montagu 


and the particular, the descriptive and 
the personal. She stands to the front 
among the second grade of letter- writers. 

One feels her excellence in a special 
way in the letters exchanged with Pope, 
who is here by no means at his best. For 
a short while before their departure for 
the East she had been permitted by Mr. 
Wortley to live in London and to renew 
her acquaintance with the intellectual 
society of whom Pope was the acknow- 
ledged chief, and it was under this ex- 
citing stimulus that she wrote her Town 
Eclogues, three of which the mysterious 
Curll published piratically, in 1715, un- 
der the title of Court Poems by a Lady of 
Quality, with the intimation that they 
were really composed by " the laudable 
translator of Homer." They were appar- 
ently handed about the coterie in manu- 
script, and were but one move in the 
dangerous game Lady Mary then began 
to play. At any rate, the intimacy be- 
tween her and Pope quickly ripened to 
gallantry, and letters of the most exag- 
gerated sentiment followed the lady on 
her Eastern wanderings. He would be 
a bold critic who should attempt to say 
how much of this philandering on the 
part of the little man was sincere, and 
how much a bad literary copy of the let- 
ters of Voiture; likely enough the writer 
himself would have been puzzled to dis- 
criminate ; it was the prescribed role. We 
may give him the credit of believing that 
at times a note of genuine passion is 
heard breaking through, or making use 
of, the convention of the day as in that 
touching appeal to her after a fit of ill- 
ness : 

" This last winter has seen great revo- 
lutions in my little affairs. My sickness 
was preceded by the death of my father, 
which happened within a few days after 
I had writ to you inviting myself to meet 
you in your journey homewards. I have 
yet a mother of great age and infirmities, 
whose last precarious days of life I am 
now attending, with such a solemn pious 
kind of officiousness as a melancholy re- 
cluse watches the last risings and fallings 

of a dying taper. My natural temper is 
pretty much broke, and I live half a her- 
mit within five miles of London [at Chis- 
wick]. A letter from you soothes me in 
my reveries ; it is like a conversation with 
some spirit of the other world, the least 
glimpse of whose favor sets one above 
all taste of the things of this: indeed, 
there is little or nothing angelical left be- 
hind you; the women here are women. 
I cannot express how I long to see you 
face to face; if ever you come again, I 
shall never be able to behave with de- 
cency. I shall walk, look and talk at 
such a rate, that all the town must know I 
have seen something more than human. 
Come, for God's sake; come, Lady 
Mary; come quickly! " 

And how did the lady, addressed in 
these tones of almost blasphemous devo- 
tion, reply ? In the extreme of good sense, 
it must be allowed. From Vienna she 
had written the 14th September, 1716: 

" Perhaps you'll laugh at me for 
thanking you gravely, for all the obliging 
concern you express for me. 'T is certain 
that I may, if I please, take the fine things 
you say to me for wit and raillery, and it 
may be it would be taking them right. 
But I never in my life was half so dis- 
posed to believe you in earnest; and that 
distance which makes the continuation 
of your friendship improbable, has very 
much increased my faith in it, and I find 
that I have (as well as the rest <rf my sex), 
whatever face I set on't, a strong dispo- 
sition to believe in miracles." 

That is not just the answer we may 
fancy to have been desired by a gentle- 
man who no doubt preferred the wit to 
be all on his own side and the simplicity 
on the lady's. If there is any one single- 
minded utterance in his correspondence, 
it is the exclamation: " A plague of fe- 
male wisdom : It makes a man ten times 
more uneasy than his wont." Again, 
poor Lady Mary! she was yet to learn, 
what she might have guessed from such 
a confession, that superiority in a woman 
is an attraction that too often turns into 
what most repels. 


A New Life of Lady Mary Wortley Montagu 

There was, one sees, a pretty casiis 
belli lurking under this exchange of court- 
esies from the beginning, and the quar- 
rel, when it came, was sure to be bitter 
and relentless. In 1718 the Wortleys were 
recalled, and Lady Mary returned home 
reluctantly, carrying with her a daugh- 
ter, destined, after a season of anxiety, 
to give her as much satisfaction as her 
son was to bring disgrace, the practice 
of inoculation, which with much diffi- 
culty she got naturalized in England, 
and to join things disparate a mind 
quite disencumbered of conventions. 

In England, we soon find the family 
established at Twickenham, where Pope 
(it was Lady Mary herself who later on 
dubbed him " the wicked wasp of Twick- 
enham ") had made himself the centre 
of a little society of wits, and from whence 
he shot his venomous bolts at any one 
who balked at his intellectual and moral 
supremacy. I should like, from the me- 
moirs and letters of the day, to draw out 
a picture of that brilliant and perilous 
society. Across the river lay Richmond 
Lodge; Hampton Court and Kew, with 
their royal associations, were near by; 
Dawley, where Bolingbroke retired to 
sulk and scheme, was also within driv- 
ing distance. And when the resources 
of these places failed, London offered its 
dissipations, was, indeed, already push- 
ing its way up the river to absorb these 
half-rural retreats. Lady Mary, we may 
presume, was heartily welcomed into this 
circle. A " rake at reading," as she 
called herself, she had at the age of 
twenty translated the Latin version of 
Epictetus under the direction of Gilbert 
Burnet, Bishop of Salisbury. Her satir- 
ical poems had already attracted notice, 
and her fame had been increased by her 
letters, which, after the manner of the 
day, were passed from hand to hand. 
Now, at the age of thirty, she was return- 
ing, in the full flush of her beauty, and 
with the glamour of the East upon her. 
Pope had made " Wortley's eyes " noto- 
rious, and was at no pains to conceal his 
passion and, so to speak, proprietorship. 

It is not strange if the lady's head was 
turned for a while, and if she fell into a 
way of life that invited scandal. " In 
general," she writes to her sister, " gal- 
lantry never was in so elevated a figure 
as it is at present. Twenty pretty fel- 
lows (the Duke of Wharton being presi- 
dent and chief director) have formed 
themselves into a committee of gallantry. 
They call themselves Schemers, and meet 
regularly three tunes a week to consult 
on gallant schemes for the advantage and 
advancement of that branch of happi- 
ness. . . . 'T is true they have the envy 
and curses of the old and ugly of both 
sexes, and a general persecution from all 
old women; but this is no more than 
all reformations must expect in their be- 
ginning." The friendship of Wharton 
(" Poor W. . . . nipt in folly's broadest 
bloom! ") was not without its danger for 
the woman who accepted it, and there 
are other names that have become asso- 
ciated too closely with Lady Mary's. She 
may have reckoned on this peril when 
she entered the lists of gallantry, but, 
though warned, she can scarcely have 
foreseen the true nature of the calamity 
before her from the other side of that life. 

" It was about the time of Cowley," 
says Dr. Johnson, " that wit, which had 
been till then used for Intellection, in 
contradiction to Will, took the meaning, 
whatever it be, which it now bears." Dr. 
Johnson needed only to consult the career 
of his favorite Pope to have spoken more 
precisely; or, indeed, he might have 
quoted Pope's explicit words : " The life 
of a wit is a warfare upon earth." And 
it was a war for hearth and gods; said 
Chesterfield one day in Parliament, giv- 
ing at once a shrewd definition and an 
apt illustration: "Wit, my Lords, is a 
sort of property the property of those 
who have it, and too often the only pro- 
perty they have to depend on. It is in- 
deed a precarious dependence. We, my 
Lords, thank God, have a dependence 
of another kind." The game was simply 
to raise one's self in estimation by ren- 
dering a rival, or, if need be, a friend, 


A New Life of Lady Mary Worthy Montagu 


ridiculous or odious. Cleverness was the 
arms, vanity the motive. Personal satire 
was raised into the chief branch of liter- 
ature, and the motto to all comers, Woe 
to the vanquished. Every feint of warfare 
was legitimate so long as it was not 
made ignominious by detection. One of 
the commonest strategems, as old in prac- 
tice as the days of Martial, but now em- 
ployed scientifically, was to write a libel- 
ous poem and accuse another of being 
the author, whereby you killed two birds 
with one stone 

Vipereumque vomat nostro sub nomine virus. 
The result is a literature which would be 
deprived of all human interest, were not 
envy and malice, like an inverted charity, 
one of the strongest and most binding of 
social instincts. 

Now, the tragedy of Lady Mary's life 
was just this, that, being a woman, and 
a beautiful woman of the world, she en- 
tered the lists and was beaten. Men 
could take their bufferings and continue 
in the fight. Mrs. Manley, too, might 
shock society and even suffer imprison- 
ment for her libelous New Atlantis 
she had no character to lose. Mrs. Astell 
might brave the world and the male 
" puppies " by her Essay in Defence of 
the Female Sex she was never properly 
of the world. And, at a later date, Mrs. 
Montagu and the other Hues might write 
and palaver to fheir heart's content 
they were careful not to enter into real 
competition with their sensitive lords; 
they belong to the distinctly female cur- 
rent of eighteenth-century life. But it was 
otherwise with Lady Mary. She took the 
field where her name was at stake, and 
having lost that, she lost all. She found 
that in this game the men, like the Abbe 
Galiani's grand fripon la-haut, played 
with loaded dice. It may seem to us un- 
just, hard, absurd; it was the fact. 

She herself knew the prejudice under 
which she fought. As early as 1710 she 
had written to her mentor, Dr. Burnet: 
" There is hardly a character in the world 
more despicable, or more liable to uni- 
versal ridicule, than that of a learned 

woman." Nor was she without intimate 
knowledge of the tenderness of a wo- 
man's name under scandal. There was, 
for instance, her neighbor, Mrs. Murray, 
who had been attacked by her footmen. 
- " A very odd whim has entered the 
head of little Mrs. Murray," writes our 
Lady; " do you know she won't visit me 
this winter? I, according to the usual 
integrity of my heart and simplicity of 
my manners, with great naivete desired 
to explain with her on the subject, and 
she answered that she was convinced that 
I had made the ballad upon her, and was 
resolved never to speak to me again." It 
is an odd thing that so much of Lady 
Mary's trouble should have arisen from 
poems she did not write. And as for this 
indecent ballad, whether she was guilty 
of it or not, she certainly stands credit- 
ed with an " Epistle from Arthur Grey, 
the Footman," which might well bring a 
blush to the " lovely nymph " to whom 
it is so flatteringly addressed. 

And of the more particular source of 
danger Lady Mary certainly received 
due warning. Addison had written to 
her: " Leave Pope as soon as you can; 
he will certainly play you some devilish 
triek else; " but she preferred to dally 
with the fire. As to the causes of the quar- 
rel, the new biography, unfortunately, 
leaves us as much at puzzle as we were 
before; the documents are still, and ap- 
parently will always be, wanting. Ac- 
cording to the tradition preserved by 
Lady Louisa Stuart, Lady Mary's own 
statement was " that at some ill-chosen 
time, when she least expected what ro- 
mances call a declaration, he made such 
passionate love to her, as, in spite of her 
utmost endeavors to be angry and look 
grave, provoked an immoderate fit of 
laughter ; from which moment he became 
her implacable enemy" naturally, and 
for the same reason that he raged at 
Colley Gibber's infamous anecdote. But 
there is large room to doubt Lady 
Louisa's story. It is notable, for one 
thing, that as early as 1722 Lady Mary 
" very seldom " saw " Mr. Pope," where- 


A New Life of Lady Mary Wortley Montagu 

as the rupture did not occur until about 
1727, when, it may be observed, she was 
in her thirty-ninth year. As a matter of 
fact Spence gives quite a different, and 
utterly trivial, explanation of the breach, 
which he professes to have had from 
Lady Mary. And as for Pope, his story 
is that " he discontinued their society 
[that of Lady Mary and Lord Hervey] 
because he found they had too much wit 
for him" which, in a general way, 
sounds likest the truth. At least it tallies 
with the account of the matter that Pope 
repeated in the Epistle to Dr. Arbuthnot : 
Yet soft by nature, more a dupe than wit, 
Sappho can tell you how this man was bit. 

More dupe than wit ! No, that is too bad, 
Mr. Pope; let us take your manuscript 
version : 

Once, and but once, his heedless youth was bit, 
And liked that dangerous thing, a female wit : 
Safe, as he thought, though all the prudent 

He writ no libels, but my Lady did. 

Now, whether the scurrilous ballads on 
Pope, published by the Duke of Wharton 
or Sir William Yonge, were written be- 
fore or after the quarrel, and whether, as 
Pope believed, Lady Mary had a finger 
in them, does not appear. It is at least 
suspicious that Lady Mary has again to 
deny her part in verses that might have 
disagreeable consequences. Certainly 
there is good evidence to show that she 
wrote part or all of . the Verses to the 
Imitator of Horace, which came out in 
the full tide of the quarrel and incited 
Pope to retort with epigrams of almost 
incredible savageness. He fastened the 
name of Sappho upon her; he ruined 
her reputation for the time, and for the 

One question raised by these incrimi- 
nations can scarcely be passed over, deli- 
cate as it may seem. Was Lady Mary 
really the immoral creature he made her ? 
Now, in judging Pope we must remember 
always that he was, perhaps, the great- 
est writer of personal satire the world has 
ever known, and that he acquired his 
fame and his terrors not by striking at 

random, but by striking true. When 
Hervey, or Lady Mary, tried to injure 
him by comparing him with Horace : 

Thine is just such an image of his pen, 
As thou thyself art of the sons of men, 
Where our own species in burlesque we trace, 
A sign-post likeness of the human face, 
That is at once resemblance and disgrace.- 
Horace can laugh, is delicate, is clear, 
You only coarsely rail, or darkly sneer ; 
His style is elegant, his diction pure, 
Whilst none thy crabbed numbers can endure ; 
Hard as thy heart, and as thy birth obscure 

they might pain him by laughing at his 
humble origin and his crooked body, but 
to the world at large their physical satire 
would appear merely stupid and brutal , 
for the reason that in its moral and intel- 
lectual parts it was so palpably false. To 
call his numbers crabbed was to dis- 
credit their own taste; to speak of the 
hard heart of the author of Eloisa to 
Abelard was equally to discredit their own 
feelings. Who, in those days, had not 
dropped a tear to the concluding lines of 
that poem, addressed to Lady Mary her- 
self when in the Orient : 

And sure if fate some future bard should join 
In sad similitude of griefs to mine, 
Condemned whole years in absence to deplore, 
And image charms he must behold no more ; 
Such if there be, who loves so long, so well ; 
Let him our sad, our tender story tell ; 
The well-sung woes will soothe my pensive 

ghost ; 
He best can paint them who shall feel them 


To such satire as Lady Mary's Pope 
could say exultingly, "It is a pleasure 
and comfort at once to find that with so 
much mind as so much malice must have 
to accuse or blacken my character, it can 
fix on no one ill or immoral thing in my 
life." He did not himself proceed in that 
way. He might, he undoubtedly did, 
exaggerate and distort, but he started 
with significant facts. 

She had, though in all innocence it 
may be, allowed a certain Frenchman to 
address letters of gallantry to her, and 
had invested sums of money for him in 
the unfortunate South Sea Stock; Pope 
writes : 

A New Life of Lady Mary Worthy Montagu 


Whence hapless Monsieur much complains at 

Of wrongs from Duchesses and Lady Maries. 

Again, Mr. Wortley was notoriously 
avaricious, and his wife had early con- 
tracted something of his penuriousness ; 
Pope writes : 

Avidien, or his wife . . . 

Sell their presented partridges and fruits, 

And humbly live on cabbages and roots : 

One half -pint bottle serves them both to dine, 

And is at once their vinegar and wine. 

But on some lucky day (as when they found 

A lost bank-bill, or heard their son was 


At such a feast old vinegar to spare, 
Is what two souls so generous cannot bear : 
Oil, though it stink, they drop by drop impart, 
But souse the cabbage with a bounteous heart. 

Again, Lady Mary's sister fell into a 
melancholy, and, having been wrested 
from the care of Lord Grange, her hus- 
band's brother, was kept in confinement 
by Lady Mary ; Pope writes : 

Who starves a sister, or forswears a debt. 

Again, Lady Mary grew with years 
into slovenly habits; Pope writes: 

As Sappho's diamonds with her dirty smock ; 
Or Sappho at her toilet's greasy task, 
With Sappho fragrant at an evening mask. 

All this cunning in satire makes it hard 
to believe that there was not some basis 
for the more licentious lines, which need 
not be here quoted. And the common 
opinion of the day confirms such a view. 
Thus, one is not surprised to find the 
mild Mrs. Montagu, in one of her letters, 
alluding to the scandal of Lady Mary's 
life as a thing well known, or to see her 
mentioned casually in one of Chester- 
field's Characters as " eminent for her 
parts and her vices." Lord Chesterfield 
was no common scandal-monger; he 
measured his words, and I confess that 
this chance phrase of his has had great 
weight in forming my judgment. Pos- 
sibly her reputation was merely the result 
of Pope's satire. Now satire, however 
based on facts, has never scrupled to add 
its own superstructure, and we may close 
this discussion, already too long, by say- 

ing that the lady was indiscreet. Even 
her latest panegyrist, Miss Symonds, 
grants as much as that. 

The upshot of it was that in July of 
1739, at the age of fifty, Lady Mary left 
her home and her family and set out for 
her long, lonely sojourn in Italy and 
France. No special quarrel with her hus- 
band has been unearthei, and she con- 
tinued to write to him letters full of re- 
spect; they had apparently just drifted 
apart. Her daughter was married; her 
son was totally estranged from her. Eng- 
land had been made uncomfortable, and, 
when opportunity offered, she took her- 
self out of the way. Her correspondence 
during these years of exile is full of inter- 
esting details, and pages might be made 
up of extracts on a variety of topics. It 
is not, in my judgment, as entertaining 
as the letters from the Orient, and it 
indicates, also, I think, a certain letting 
down of her character. The fact is, her 
career shows a slow and steady degener- 
ation from the frank, fondly-wise girl- 
hood which Miss Symonds has thrown 
into pleasant and artistic relief. More 
especially, her war with the wits had 
hardened and coarsened her mind. It is 
not easy, for instance, to forgive the com- 
plete lack of feeling she displays toward 
her son, however worthless and wild he 
may have been. It is not pretty to begin a 
letter, as she does one to her husband 
from Genoa, " I am sorry to trouble you 
on so disagreeable a subject as our son; " 
and she rarely mentions his name with- 
out some rancorous remark. The best 
that can be said is that her language is 
no more outrageous than that used by 
Queen Caroline in regard to her grace- 
less son, the Prince of Wales. 

On the death of her husband, in 1761, 
she returned to England to settle up his 
affairs; he left, it was estimated, ,800,- 
000 in money, and 17,000 per annum 
in land, mines, etc. : an enormous fortune 
for those days. She took a small furn- 
ished ** harpsichord " house in Great 
George Street, and there for a while was 
the wonder of London. Walpole's ac- 

The Air of the City 

count of his visit to her is one of the best- 
known morceaux in his Correspondence 
a strange and terrible pendant to his 
portrait of her as he had seen her in 
Florence twenty-two years earlier : 

"Lady Mary Wortley is arrived; I 
have seen her; I think her avarice, her 
dirt, and her vivacity, are all increased. 
Her dress, like her language, is a gali- 
matias of several countries; the ground- 
work, rags, and the embroidery, nasti- 
ness. She wears no cap, no handkerchief, 
no gown, no petticoat, no shoes. An old 
black-laced hood represents the first, the 
fur of a horseman's coat, which replaces 
the third, serves for the second ; a dimity 
petticoat is deputy, and officiates for the 
fourth; and slippers act the part of the 
last. When I was at Florence, and she 

was expected there, we were drawing 
Sortes Virgilianas for her, we literally 

Insanam vatem aspicies. 
It would have been a stronger prophecy 
now, even than it was then." 

Again, and for the last time, Lady 
Mary suffered from the impertinence of 
masculine wit, and what a change from 
the picture of the young girl toasted at 
the Kit-Cat Club! We may believe that 
her latest enemy drew freely upon his 

She died August 21, 1762, leaving, as 
Walpole wrote, " twenty-one large vol- 
umes in prose and verse, in manuscript." 
The story of how her letters got into 
print is one of the puzzles of Hterary 
annals, but is not within our range. 



WHEN, on that long-past burning 
August day, the wide-mouthed crater of 
Vesuvius poured down an overwhelming 
cloud on little Herculaneum and greater 
Pompeii, the daily life of rich and poor 
was choked out suddenly by that terrific 
burial in dust. As we pass from some 
fierce dust-storm in our cities, gasping 
and coughing with the load of dirt which 
has enveloped us, as we behold dark 
wreaths of heavy smoke pouring from 
soft-coal fires on every side, the thought 
must sometimes come that our commun- 
ities to-day endure a peril far too much 
like that which in that distant time en- 
gulfed city and town about the Bay of 

What does the air of the city hold? 
How does it differ from pure mountain 
air ? Wherein lie its dangers ? What can 
be found to remedy its perils ? All these 
are questions whose answers immediate- 
ly concern every dweller in community 

centres. We know, chemically speaking, 
that air in its normal state is chiefly com- 
posed of oxygen and nitrogen, approx- 
imately one-fifth oxygen to four-fifths 
nitrogen. Besides these it contains some 
carbon dioxide, a little watery vapor, a 
few inert elementary gases, and small 
traces of compounds formed from nitro- 
gen. How much do we know of the uses 
of those substances or of the wealth of 
life which the atmosphere holds? Day 
after day we go trudging to and fro along 
our various paths, at the bottom of a 
gaseous ocean which surrounds us, eating 
and sleeping, working with hand and 
brain, yet giving scarce a thought to the 
essential part which the air plays in our 
common life. 

Of all the engines cunningly devised 
by man not one can equal that master- 
piece of construction, the engine of the 
human frame. To run that engine, air 
is the first necessity. Construct it how 

The Air of the City 


you will, the greater part of the energy 
which feeds a power plant is lost before it 
reaches the applying machine. The body 
only has the power of using energy really 
economically and efficiently. Its food is 
its fuel. To be available, all the constitu- 
ents of that food must be burned, pro- 
ducing heat and power. For that burning 
the oxygen of the air is essential. Equally 
true is it that nitrogen must be present 
to prevent the rapid combustion which 
would take place in oxygen alone. But 
whether the combustion be fast or slow, 
the action is the same. The body burns 
the carbon and hydrogen of its food and 
gives out the oxides of these substances, 
carbon dioxide (carbonic acid gas) and 
hydrogen oxide (water). The water that 
is formed within the body by the burning 
of hydrogen is of comparatively slight 
importance in a consideration of the vital 
questions of the effect of city air upon the 
individual, but the other factor, the car- 
bon dioxide formed in the body, is of 
direct importance. 

Farther and farther outward stretch 
the high city walls of brick and stone, 
engulfing tree and shrub, laying bare 
grassy knoll and living green. Higher and 
higher rise the chimneys, and with their 
rise increases daily the great outpouring 
of carbon dioxide and other gases, rush- 
ing into the air from the fuel burning in 
the fires below. Every type of fuel is car- 
bon in its main essential, and every type 
chiefly produces carbon dioxide as the 
result of its combustion. Set a factory 
chimney in the midst of a grassy plain, 
or send forth huge volumes of hot gases 
from a steamer in mid-ocean, and the 
resulting carbon dioxide added to the air 
is of but little consequence. The wind 
scatters it to infinite dilution. The air 
of the city rising from hundreds of chim- 
neys and confining walls has no such 
chance. The task is too heavy for even 
the sweeping winds to accomplish, robbed 
as they are of their chief helper in the 
disposition of carbonic acid gas, the liv- 
ing green of plant life. 

Those city fathers who see nothing 

but aesthetic value in park "or, tree-lined 
boulevard, recognize not all the sanitary 
value of such breathing spots. Every 
leaf, every blade of grass, is a highly spe- 
cialized factory for the care and disposal 
of carbon dioxide gas. Their growth, 
their very existence, depends upon the 
power possessed by their tiny cells to 
take that gas from the surrounding at- 
mosphere and break it down into its 
component parts. That done, the car- 
bon stays within the plant, forming its 
structure; the oxygen returns into the 
air, ready to unite once more wherever 
oxidizable materials are found. Every 
moment of every day the never-ceasing 
" cycle of carbon " continues on its 
round. The carbon of wood, coal, or 
plant, be it used for fuel or for food, is 
burned with evolution of the compound 
gas, carbon dioxide. That gas is seized 
by the plant, is separated, and once more 
assumes the simple form. The carbon 
which was the beginning is the end as 
well. The modern city, with its bricks 
and mortar, in most cases leaves but little 
room for these billions of plant factories. 
Its high walls bar the cleansing winds. 
Excess of carbon dioxide is but too likely 
to result. 

In a most careful study of Air and 
its Relation to Vital Energy, Professor 
Woodbridge takes up this point in a light 
somewhat different from that in which 
it has been most commonly considered. 
Carbon dioxide gas exists in the air in far 
too small a quantity, even when materi- 
ally in excess of the normal, to act in any 
way as a direct poison. It is in the effect 
of such excess upon the structure of the 
human frame that danger may lie. 

The air of the lungs normally con- 
tains about a hundred times as much 
carbon dioxide as does the atmosphere 
around them. Our lung -bellows, by 
double action, produce the draft which 
keeps alive our body-fires and takes 
away the products of combustion, act- 
ing over the great surface of some four 
hundred square feet. Their boundary 
walls hold venous blood on one side 


The Air of the City 

air on the other. Through these walls 
the carbonic acid gas brought there by 
the blood passes into the air of the lungs, 
thence to issue with that air through nose 
and mouth. It is on the fact that the 
heavier carbon dioxide within the blood 
has a greater tension than the lighter air 
in the lungs, that the exchange depends. 
Lessen that tension, increase the heavi- 
ness of the air within the lungs by adding 
even a slight quantity of carbonic acid gas 
from the atmosphere, and the exchange 
may slacken. If the burned wastes of 
the body remain within the blood, they 
must clog the fires and produce disease. 
So finely are the body -fires adjusted that 
the least disturbance of normal condi- 
tions may tend toward injury. It cannot 
be denied that many scientists look upon 
the presence of carbon dioxide in excess 
in the air as of less importance than Pro- 
fessor Woodbridge imputes to it, yet in 
general the indication of the foulness of 
the air shown by carbon dioxide is con- 
sidered of direct importance. In any 
case, where city walls, uncooled by oases 
of grass or trees, lie baking under our 
summer tropic sun, the gases from the 
city chimneys cannot but bear heavily 
on man and beast. 

.Device after device has been brought 
forward by inventors to secure a sat- 
isfactory regulation of temperature in 
houses and public buildings cold- air 
regulators for furnaces, steam regulators 
for steam heaters, checks of various sorts. 
The principle of heat regulation in the 
body has been carried on for centuries 
effectively and well by three simple uni- 
form methods. At high temperatures we 
perspire and evaporate the perspiration 
to cool the body. At medium tempera- 
tures we combine evaporation with varia- 
tion of blood-flow, or change the condi- 
tion of the vessels of the skin. At lower 
temperatures we must depend on in- 
creasing the body-fires to warm ourselves 
and burn our food more rapidly. \ 

The variation of body temperature is 
affected by the outer cold or heat, by 
humidity or wind. Outside temperature, 

humidity, or wind, important as they are, 
can be but little controlled by city ordi- 
nances or private efforts. Wind is shut 
off by walls. Inside temperature errs, if 
anything, on the side of excess. Humid- 
ity is commonly overlooked altogether. 
The water vapor of the air conducts heat 
from the body more rapidly than dry air, 
and interferes with the evaporation of 
perspiration. Those two factors seriously 
disarrange the regulation of the body 
heat. The discomfort of the " dog days," 
as well as no small amount of the uneasi- 
ness of a crowded room, comes from the 
excess of water vapor in the air. 

With the outpouring of the city's chim- 
neys has come another problem in these 
later days, a cloud which shadows all our 
cities, covering with its blackness wall 
and pavement, entering alike to house 
and factory, the city's smoke. Life in 
the soft-coal cities comes to be existence 
in a gray, blackened world. Whiteness of 
cloth, cleanliness of face or hands, be- 
comes a shadowy hope, not a reality. 

The reason for these conditions is by 
no means hard to find. Soft coal differs 
from hard coal most of all in this : when 
burned, its carbon, turning but in part to 
oxide, leaves a cloud of soft black soot, 
that carbon uncombined which soots the 
study lamp or rises from the snuffed-out 
candle. The coating which such soot 
casts on the lining of the lungs is one of 
the hardships of the city-dweller, despite 
the fact that our breathing organs possess 
a most extraordinary power of taking 
care of foreign bodies which invade their 
midst. Of all the particles that enter, no 
small portion returns, coughed back from 
the mouth or else ejected from the nose 
where tiny filters held them as they en- 
tered. Those which persist and lodge 
in windpipe or in bronchial tubes find 
there a horde of soldiers placed to drive 
the invader back, the cilia. These are 
cells shaped like tiny fingers, each finger 
fringed on its free end with a myriad of 
infinitesimal hairs which swing unceas- 
ingly through life, and as they swing bear 
back and upwards towards the mouth- 

The Air of the City 


invading solids. Besides the cilia the 
phagocytes, those sanitary engineers of 
the blood, stand ready to seize, encom- 
pass, and destroy any harmful substances 
that may enter. 

Yet through all these defenses solids 
can pass, and many do pass. Once in 
the lungs, they settle on the walls where 
passes out carbonic acid from the blood, 
where enters air carrying life-giving oxy- 
gen to the fires within. Where they fall, 
they clog the way. In city life, the fresh 
pink of a normal person's lung is streaked 
and spotted with black lines which chart 
the blocked-up roads where breath of life 
once entered, where burned-out wastes 
once passed. In reason this may do 
no serious harm, because of the tremen- 
dous space through which the boundary 
walls extend. But as the coal-miner, 
from morning until night inspiring soft 
and clinging masses of black coal, dies 
long before his prime because his lungs, 
bounded by atrophied film, no longer 
serve their purpose, so the city-dweller, 
breathing day and night, year in and 
year out, an atmosphere charged with 
black smoke, shortens the course of life 
which should have been his own. 

In smoky cities the proper ventilation 
of houses, one of the greatest essentials 
in stamping out tuberculosis, becomes 
more difficult. The doors and windows 
of the tenements are closed, and the 
stifled air within hastens disease and 
death. On humid days the smoke which 
fills the streets unites with the water 
vapor of the air to form the fogs which 
overhang the city. Fogs can exist only 
when the gaseous water of the air is liqui- 
fied upon solid particles. The bits of car- 
bon floating through the ways give such 
foundation, and the water condensing on 
them forms a mist. Probably without 
direct injurious effect, a fog depresses, 
renders resistance to disease more diffi- 
cult, sets up a barrier to the cleansing, 
life-giving sun. 

The pity of it is that all the evils 
which come from smoke are prevent- 
able. Smoke-consumers exist which have 
VOL. 102 - NO. 1 

proved their worth. Due care in running 
fires will do much. No more fuel is re- 
quired under careful management to pro- 
duce combustion which shall be practi- 
cally smokeless. These statements have 
been proved over and. over again. It is 
a matter of community supervision, of 
laws rightly framed and fearlessly ad- 
ministered. Fortunately inspection is by 
no means a difficult matter. One city, for 
example, handles that problem by means 
of a chart holding six pictures of a chim- 
ney above a factory, the first of which 
shows the chimney with no smoke, the 
second with a light smoke issuing, the 
other four showing greater and blacker 
volumes. The first conditions are pass- 
able. The last are dangerous. The in- 
spector takes a photograph of any ques- 
tionable chimney and compares it with 
the standard pictures. The comparison 
tells the story. The factory is pronounced 
"passed," or the owner is warned to 
conform immediately to the regulations, 
under penalty of the law. 

The West as a whole is far beyond the 
East in its abatement of the smoke nuis- 
ance. In St. Paul some four years ago, 
the work was given over to the depart- 
ment of health, whose first act was to lay 
the following question before the local 
and national unions of steam engineers 
and firemen : " Can the smoke nuisance 
as it exists to-day be reasonably pre- 
vented without injury to trade and manu- 
facturing interests ? " This question was 
unanimously answered in the affirmative 
by the members of both unions. No- 
tice was taken of all dubious cases, and 
fines were imposed when necessary: a 
minimum fine of twenty-five dollars for 
the first offense, doubled for each suc- 
ceeding one. The work has been most 
successful, and besides an abatement of 
smoke, a saving of fuel is reported. 

In Milwaukee an ordinance which 
has gone through periods of relaxation 
and others of strict enforcement, has 
been successful when properly managed. 
About half the city at the time of a re- 
cent report used smoke-consuming de- 


The Air of the City 

vices; about one-fourth used hard coal 
or smokeless fuel. The general condition 
of the city was admirable. So admirable, 
indeed, that the title of the ordinance 
passed by the Common Council is worth 
quoting in full as an epitome of what such 
an ordinance should be. 

An Ordinance declaring it to be a 
nuisance to cause or permit dense black 
smoke to be emitted from the chimneys 
or smoke-stacks of furnaces, boilers, 
heating, power or manufacturing plants, 
boats, vessels, tugs, dredges, stationary 
or locomotive engines, and creating the 
office of smoke-inspector, fixing his salary 
and prescribing his duties, and creating 
a board for the suppression of smoke. 

Close as is the relation between the 
products of combustion and the public 
health, there is a yet closer one between 
the other burden which the atmosphere 
carries dust and disease. For many 
centuries the world believed that air was 
. a vehicle of disease, and many a histo- 
, rian of pestilential years told of foul and 
1 heavy vapors which hung daily over 
doomed cities and seemed to carry death 
,as they spread. From stage to stage 
passed the beliefs in the causation of epi- 
demic disease, but with ever-recurring 
persistence they returned in one way or 
. another to some belief in the transmission 
.agency of the gases of the air. Only in 
that clarifying time when Schwann and 
Pasteur, Lister and Tyndall worked, was 
it made evident that the disease proper- 
ties of the atmosphere came not from the 
air itself but from the burden of living 
organisms which it bore. From that great 
demonstration came the germ theory of 

In the rush of modern scientific re- 
search the work done a generation ago 
is likely to be lost to sight. It is well 
worth a moment's pause, however, to 
recall the brilliant research by which 
John Tyndall, in 1868, proved the pre- 
sence of organic matter in the air. Like 
many another experimenter, Tyndall 

found what he did not seek. He sought 
knowledge on the decomposition of va- 
pors by light. He found the relation 
between dust and disease. The sunlight 
passing through a chink in the shutters 
reveals its path by the motes dancing in 
its ray. To obtain the results he wished, 
it was necessary for Tyndall to remove 
all floating matters from the air of his 
tubes. He attempted to do this in various 
ways, finally passing his air over the 
flame of a lamp. To his intense surprise 
the matter disappeared. It had been 
burned by the flame. His mind instantly 
leaped to the conclusion that it was 
organic matter, though practically every 
scientist had hitherto believed that the 
floating matter of the air was wholly 
inorganic and non-combustible. Tyndall 
created a living world at a bound, the 
world wherein moves the living matter 
of the air. He pushed his inquiry farther. 
He placed a lamp in a beam of light. 
Strange wreaths of blackness rose, black- 
er, as he says, " than the blackest smoke 
ever seen issuing from the funnel of a 
steamer." Carrying the inquiry on, he 
tried the same experiment with red hot 
iron, to preclude any possibility that the 
blackness might be smoke from a flame. 
" The same whirling masses of darkness 
rose, smoke was out of the question." 
One conclusion remained. The darkness 
was that of stellar space, of the night 
which holds between the far-hung stars. 
The heat had burned the organic matter 
of the air, the inorganic had settled, no 
material substance remained to reflect 
light. Dust was in part organic. Nay, 
more. Dust was made up of two parts : 
the inorganic, matter like the rolling 
sands of the sea, the organic, germ masses 
of living organisms, infinitesimal, yet 
each complete in itself. 

These micro-organisms of the air were 
soon proved capable of many things. 
Among other powers, they were proved 
to be carriers of disease. The surgeon's 
scalpel laid on a dusty shelf had time 
after time introduced the germs of evil 
into the wound it was meant to cure. 

The Air of the City 


An operation was a dread event where 
death was almost as likely as recovery. 
Lister's discovery of the possibilities of 
bacteriological cleanliness meant .exclu- 
sion of germ-life from wound and instru- 
ment, from surgeon's hand and winding 
bandage. It brought life to thousands. 
Swiftly the new theory made its way. 
Germ-life which could cause disease ex- 
isted in the atmosphere. Methods arose 
to combat the various forms of ill which 
it brought. Knowledge grew as to the 
specific germs of evil and their brothers 
of good. 

The marvelous life of the earth, the 
teeming billions of micro-organisms 
which inhabit the soil, have already been 
considered in " City Water and City 
Waste." l It is sufficient to recall here 
that by far the greater part of the earth's 
surface contains a vigorous microscopic 
life which serves many important pur- 
poses in the economy of nature. When 
earth is dried and driven by the wind 
about the streets, various types of micro- 
organisms rise with the dust clinging to 
sand or splinter or floating by themselves. 
Of these forms, the bacteria interest us 
the most. The great service which they 
perform lies in the power which many of 
them possess of taking dangerous or 
exhausted organic material and turning 
it into harmless inorganic form. That 
service is turned to account in every 
modern sewage plant. The great injury 
which they may cause comes from a few 
forms in which lie the beginnings of dis- 
ease. Growing with intense rapidity, 
these tiny plants, shaped like balls, rods, 
or spirals, spread wherever they may fall. 
Moist surfaces hold the germs, and be- 
sides the soil, they abound in manure and 
all decaying organic bodies, while those 
which find suitable homes in the human 
body multiply there with serious results. 
They appear in dust in billions piled on 
billions, when the dried earth, sweeping 
into the air with the varying impulse of 
the breeze, carries with it dried masses 
of bacteria. 

1 Atlantic Monthly, September, 1906. 

The city street is a provider of bac- 
terial hosts which has few equals. The 
concourse of the mart, the moving to and 
fro of many people, the constant throw- 
ing forth of human sputum, the dirt 
brought by the passing of many horses 
and domestic animals confined within a 
comparatively meagre space, all tend to 
furnish a constant supply of bacteria to 
the soil of the streets. When the soil has 
once been dried, the pounding of heavy 
wagons and the suction of the great 
wheels of motor cars form a fine pulver- 
ized surface powder on the road surface, 
ready to rise in clouds with every wan- 
dering breeze. The healthiest period 
which exists in city air is that during or 
just after a rain or snow. Moisture brings 
the germ content of the street most teem- 
ing with bacterial life to figures low in 
the extreme. 

The germs which modern city air con- 
tains are chiefly of two classes. The first 
group affects the respiratory organs. Of 
these the tubercle bacillus, the bacterial 
form which underlies consumption, and 
the pneumococcus, the dreaded micro- 
organism from which pneumonia comes, 
are chief. The second group embraces 
those diseases which are eruptive in their 
nature. Scarlet fever, measles, and the 
like send, with drying scales, their quota 
to the dust around. 

To oppose the entry of these germs 
stands that same chain of defenses which 
the respiratory tract raises against in- 
vading coal-dust, and, as well, that con- 
tinuity of armor which the body holds. 
Cased in the air-tight coverings of the 
skin without, lined with the barrier of the 
epithelia within, the human frame is well 
equipped by nature for the war against 
disease. Those coverings must be pene- 
trated before disease can enter. A ragged 
sliver in the hand or foot often produces 
injuries far from proportional to its size. 
Why? Because the poisoned arrow of 
the Malay, though swifter, carries no 
more toxic poison than may come from 
a splinter of the streets. The danger of 
the dust lies, beyond all else, in the fact 

The Air of the City 

that every dust-storm, bearing thousands 
of small sharp grains of sand, tiny splin- 
ters of wood, and bits of stone, is a flight 
of poisoned arrows driven against the 
body covering of the passer-by. The 
poison which they bear may or may not 
come from the dried organic matter of 
the street. It may be lying at the point of 
entrance where the germs growing in the 
warm moisture of the respiratory tract 
lurk within the body like bandits beneath 
a fortress wall. In whatever way they 
come, it is most difficult for bacteria to 
pass through the body armor except 
when sharp particles such as those of 
dust make wounds or lesions in the inner 
walls. Once such openings are made, 
dangerous micro-organisms are but too 
ready to avail themselves of the oppor- 
tunity. Once they are within, disease of 
major or minor type soon shows their 

Within the walls of dwelling, hall, 
or office-building, the direct dust-storm 
penetrates less easily, but only too often 
comes another danger from the difficulty 
of removing the fine cloud of dust which 
enters by every door and window from 
the streets, coating the furniture, hang- 
ing to curtain and rug and clinging there 
with a persistence which renders many 
a city home a veritable storehouse of 
ancient micro-organic life. Especially is 
this true where hangings of cloth, up- 
holstered furniture, and heavy carpets 
furnish excellent abiding-places for the 
germs. Few sanitary reforms have meant 
more than modern hard-wood floors, 
light unupholstered furniture, and wash- 
able curtains. 

One question must inevitably rise with 
any discussion of these points. " If such 
dangers exist about us in the city air 
which we all breathe, how can any es- 
cape ? " It is easy to understand the free- 
dom of individuals from specific conta- 
gion such as comes from impure water or 
impure milk. Disease from such causes 
can strike only in isolated spots or sepa- 
rate communities. It is far more diffi- 
cult to understand the immunity which 

is afforded the individual in the smoke- 
and dust-laden air of thousands of Amer- 
ican cities. Yet there is no question that 
great numbers show no signs of harm. 
Their vital resistance is so great as to 
make them triumphant over any form of 
disease. On the other hand, since there 
are thousands in any community who 
are susceptible to these attacks, it is the 
duty of the whole community to shield 
those thousands. 

One germ found in dust needs especial 
mention. Tuberculosis, which may be 
classed among the dust diseases, ravages 
our country beyond all other plagues to- 
day. The consumptive sheds hundreds 
and thousands of living tubercle bacilli 
every time he sends forth sputum where 
it can mix with the dust of street or room. 
Once mixed with that dust, deposited on 
sand or other cutting particle, the pois- 
oned weapon flies upward, ready to cut 
through and enter the body through the 
lesion formed in the lungs. In case after 
case we find in the lungs of perfectly 
healthy persons small tubercular lesions 
which have healed, showing that they 
were able to combat the poison when at- 
tacked. But how about the time of low 
resistance? How can the citizen tell 
when that time may come to him or to 
his family? The magnificent crusade 
against tuberculosis is doing much to 
convince the individual of the necessity 
of care against scattering contagion. The 
municipality can do almost as much to- 
wards the stamping out of the plague by 
a steady constant struggle to achieve the 
cleanest possible street. 

In the dirt of the assembly hall, of the 
theatre, of the hotel and the railway-car 
we find conditions in which the difficul- 
ties which exist in the private house are 
fourfold multiplied. For hours the crowds 
of people in such places sit breathing the 
accumulated dust brought from the 
streets, which, rising from the floor, floats 
in clouds into the air and settles heavily 
on the antiquated plush still in high favor 
for such places. It is but a year or 
two ago that the newspapers considered 

The Air of the City 


briefly the dangers of that bacterial para- 
dise, the Pullman sleeping-car. A brief 
spasm of remonstrance passed over the 
country, and disappeared as suddenly as 
it came. The peril from such sources 
was, however, recognized two decades 
ago by more than one ; and these words 
of Dr. Mitchell Prudden, concerning the 
presence of tuberculosis in such places, 
written almost as long ago, are no less 
true to-day : 

" Sleeping-cars and the state-rooms of 
steamships and hotel bedrooms are al- 
most always liable to contain infectious 
material, if they have been recently used 
by uncleanly consumptives or those ig- 
norant of the danger of their expectora- 
tion. When the infectious nature of 
consumption becomes generally appre- 
ciated, hotels and transportation compa- 
nies over long routes will be compelled 
to provide special accommodations for 
such persons as are known to be thus 

Tuberculosis is but one of the con- 
tagious diseases which can be spread in 
this way. The outdoor treatment of tu- 
berculosis is coming more and more to 
be recognized as consisting primarily of 
three things. First, that the patient 
shall have an ample supply of good nour- 
ishing food. Second, that the patient 
shall have an abundance of oxygen-laden 
air. Third, that that air shall be as 
free as possible from bacterial forms. 
Climate and environment both seem to 
be secondary to these requirements, and 
the spread of outdoor treatment from its 
original field of tuberculosis to that of 
other respiratory diseases, such as grippe 
and pneumonia, is along the same line. 

First of all steps to be taken in freeing 
the city from dust, is the laying of proper 
pavements. Most of our present pave- 
ments are little better than those of com- 
mon country roads piled high in time of 
drought with shifting sands. So long as 
dry and unstable earth caps the broken 
stone of many a city street, so long the 
dust clouds will send many a patient to 
the doctors and the hospitals. The in- 

creasing use of the automobile will in- 
evitably make proper street-cleansing 
easier. To-day the roads torn up by the 
suction of the huge machines show lit- 
tle promise of advance, but the future 
should tell a different tale. Continuous 
pavements like those of asphalt are ideal, 
because of their smoothness for motor 
carriage, and when the horse passes from 
the city, streets so paved will be wholly 
available. And the horse in time will 
have to go, as almost all the other wild 
and domestic beasts have disappeared 
from community centres. An anachro- 
nism in himself, the filth which follows 
him acts as a shelter for disease. With 
proper pavements, with the dirt of ani- 
mals excluded, street-cleansing can be 
properly performed. 

Within the house the vacuum-cleansing 
processes are sweeping out and com- 
pletely removing from many a dwelling 
and public building the accumulated dust 
of years. In the vastly greater extension 
of such devices, in such increase of 
service as shall bring them within the 
constant use of every household, lies the 
great possibility here. City rooms will 
no longer be considered rightly ventilated 
by the dusty air of the sidewalk driven 
in by fans blowing through open win- 
dows. Satisfactory air-filters will take 
their place, filters not left to the intermit- 
tent, semi-annual care of a janitor. One 
watchword of the model city of the future 
will be " Freedom from Dust." 

As the centres of population become 
more and more crowded, as the distance 
between the workrooms and the bed- 
rooms of the city grows greater, more of 
our population burrow beneath the earth 
on their daily passing to and fro. The 
condition of the air in the subways of 
the cities has been a moot point since 
their first establishment. No subway has 
undergone more criticism in this respect 
than has the long winding tunnel which 
lies beneath New York. The trouble 
began with the first opening of the sub- 
way, while its stifling heat during the 
terrific summer of 1905 is a matter. of 


The Air of the City 

painful memory to thousands. That heat 
was made yet more intolerable by the 
peculiar " subway smell." From those 
causes grave questions inevitably arose 
as to the healthfulness of the air within 
the subway. Those queries have now 
been answered in large part by an in- 
vestigation made by Dr. George Soper, 
which considered temperature, humidity, 
odor, bacteria, and dust. The first two 
of these divisions, important as they are, 
have comparatively little relation to our 
theme, but the last three are pertinent. 

The belief in the injurious effects of 
the odor of the subway was a relic from 
the period when certain forms of illness 
were supposed to be directly connected 
with evil smells. With the exception of 
the ill effects which certain gaseous com- 
pounds of sulphur and carbon produce, 
there seems to be scarcely any ground for 
relating disease and evil odor. Constant 
exposure to any smell, be it bad or good, 
is likely to produce nervous irritation and 
exhaustion. On the great rose-farms of 
southern France for example, the stranger 
wandering among the fragrant fields soon 
feels the same heavy headache which a 
persistently objectionable odor like that 
of a soap factory is likely to produce. A 
lowering of energy from any type of odor 
may put the individual into a condition 
to invite disease, but is little likely to be 
the direct cause of contagion. In the case 
of the subway, the odor came chiefly 
from the smell of the trap-rock employed 
in the stone ballast of the road-bed, 
mingled with lubricating oil and gear 
grease, and combined with occasional 
slight infusions of human odor. Dis- 
agreeable as it might be when long in- 
haled, there was no reason to believe it 

The dust of the subway was quite an- 
other matter. It was very distinct from 
the dust of the streets, blacker, more 
clinging. As a horseshoe magnet was 
brought near a heap of dust the powdery 
mass sprang into magnetic curves. Fol- 
lowing this line, two magnets of similar 
size were hung, one in the subway and 

one in an iron foundry; and the first 
showed clusters of black magnetic stuff 
far heavier than the second. Analysis af- 
ter analysis showed almost half as much 
dust again by weight in the subway as 
was found outside. Over sixty per cent 
of that dust was iron. A passenger trav- 
eling for half an hour inhaled on an aver- 
age some .42 of a milligram of the dust, 
a very appreciable amount, and received 
into his lungs a goodly number of iron 
missiles. Add to them the tuberculosis 
germs forever floating in the cars, and 
you have a very dangerous combination. 
The iron came from the wearing down 
of the brake-shoes on the wheels, and 
it is computed that the huge figure of 
twenty-five tons of iron and steel is 
ground into powder in the New York 
Subway in the course of a month. Here 
is a type of dust almost wholly disre- 
garded up to the present time, which 
may mean much in the tuberculosis cam- 
paigns of the future. 

The bacteria found in the subway were 
commonly less in number than those 
found outside, but amounted to the fairly 
high figure of some five hundred thou- 
sand per gram of dust, sometimes run- 
ning as high as two million. The pas- 
senger waiting for the train, however, 
was engaged in no more harmful occu- 
pation so far as danger was concerned 
than he would have been if waiting for 
a car on the street outside. 

In summing up the situation, the en- 
gineer in charge states : " My own con- 
clusion was that the general air (of the 
subway) although disagreeable was not 
actually harmful, except, possibly, for 
the presence of iron dust." An investi- 
gation of that exception is now going on, 
and it is the opinion of no small number 
of engineers that the word " possibly " 
in the quotation just made is likely to 
be stricken out. 

One other point concerning subway 
air should be mentioned. The constant 
renewing of the atmosphere by the mo- 
tion of the trains keeps the carbon diox- 
ide in the tunnel so little more than that 

The Air of the City 


on the surface that, on that account, no 
more injury should be charged against 
the subway than against the streets. 

Of all the odors and gases which were 
considered perilous by sanitarians of an 
older day, sewer gas stands preeminent. 
The average citizen looks upon sewer air, 
or leaky joints in his plumbing, with more 
fear than he would upon a perfect bath 
of tubercle bacilli or a glass of water filled 
with typhoid germs. To a research re- 
cently completed at the Massachusetts 
Institute of Technology we owe much 
of our latest knowledge of the subject. 
During a period of over three months a 
current of air was passed through sewage 
under varying conditions, and the flight 
upward of the bacteria was noted. That 
was done in order to answer the follow- 
ing question : " What is the bacterial con- 
dition of the atmosphere where sewer air 
is present ? " 

Without considering the ingenious and 
effective way in which the experiments 
were carried on, we may pass immediately 
to the results ; in brief they follow. With a 
very strong current of air it is possible to 
drag a few dangerous bacteria from sew- 
age lying in a trap, and take them fifteen 
feet or more up through a drain. Even 
under the most favorable conditions, 
however, the number of germs so pulled 
upward is very small. Ordinary sewage 
contains something like three-quarters 
of a billion per litre of the organisms 
studied. In the maximum case, not forty 
of this vast number were found to have 
risen through the drain. The result of 
this research must lead us to believe that 
carriage of disease germs from a house- 
drainage system is extremely improbable. 

There is, however, one record of an 
even more recent investigation which 
stands in opposition to these conclusions. 
Major Horrocks of England has recent- 
ly concluded a study of a similar type 
in which striking results were obtained. 
Certain specific classes of bacteria not 
found in the atmosphere about the place 
in which the experiments were carried on, 
were drawn upward by currents of air 

through traps in drain-pipes. Remark- 
able results were obtained. The tiny 
organisms were found in large numbers, 
spread from one end of the building in the 
military hospital to the other. Results so 
unusual as these, and so contrary to most 
modern conclusions, should be noted. 

But no single experiment to-day can 
be taken as absolutely conclusive, either 
for or against. Especially is precaution 
wise, since there remains one further 
possibility. Can sewer gas so debilitate 
the human system as to prepare it for 
the inroads of disease? That remains 
a subject for further investigation, and, 
until that is settled by longer and more 
rigorous experimentation, it is wiser to be 
on the safe side and keep to thoroughly 
conservative plumbing regulations. 

The whole problem of the air of a city 
tends to fall under certain definite head- 
ings: excess of carbonic acid, the smoke 
nuisance, the dust evil, the problem of 
sewer gas. For each, the city can pro- 
vide a remedy. Limiting the height of 
buildings, widening the narrow streets, 
providing parks and squares with green 
trees, grass, and shrubs will do much 
toward diluting, scattering, and remov- 
ing excess of carbon dioxide. Laws 
passed, and enforced, requiring smoke- 
consumers and proper firing will abso- 
lutely do away with the smoke nuisance. 
Proper pavements, with good street- 
cleaning, will diminish germ-laden dust 
to a minimum. Proper plumbing regu- 
lations will guard us from any possible 
danger from sewage in our houses. 

It is all in the city's hands. Commun- 
ity life is apparently the inevitable se- 
quence of our modern age. The fortunate 
who can, the intelligent who know, will 
turn more and more for their hours of 
recreation and of sleep to wide stretches 
of heath and hill, or to the comparative 
cleanliness of the suburbs. But for the 
thousands of the narrow streets the 
cleansing of the city air is a necessity. 
To every pallid weary worker should 
come the rushing breath of purifying 
winds, the free and open air of heaven. 



SAW you the stately palace that stands 
Fronting the wind-swept sky? 
The stately palace, reared on a height, 
In the teeth of the winds of the sky? 

Nobler than ever a lordly hold, 
Greater than kingly keep, 
Or the mightiest fastness, buttress-bound, 
Where a thousand legends sleep; 

j For a legion camps there, eager-eyed, 
Flushed with the spirit's fires; 
They, whom the elder lands would not 
Younger sons of the sires! 

Shoulder to shoulder a stubborn breed ! 
There stirs in the atrophied vein, 
The quickened pulse of a soul re-born 
The prophets' dormant strain. 

Brother and brother parched of their thirst! 
They drink at the fountain head; 
They taste of the manna long denied; 
They eat of the fruit and are fed. 

Again ! Yet again the waters of life ! 
You shall hear from them, country mine! 
Hewers and builders, captains of men, 
Thinkers, poets divine 

These, whom the elder lands would not! 
Patience, fools! Ye shall see. 
For a nation reapeth as it hath sown. 
And the reaping is yet to be! 



No attempt will here be made to 
sketch the evolution of literature in New 
Japan, or to treat the present period as 
a chapter in the twelve centuries of the 
literary history of the nation. The former 
subject, dating as it does from about 
1885, seems hardly to have acquired a 
sufficient perspective for historical treat- 
ment, while the latter is too vast for a 
single article. We shall aim to interpret 
some of the literary productions of the 
new era as a reflection of the remarkable 
transformation through which Japan's 
social life is just passing; for in this 
sense the young literature, otherwise of 
too local interest, would seem to pos- 
sess an important and even universal 
significance. From this point of view, 
however, it would be impossible to do 
justice to the relative importance to one 
another of the individual authors and 
works, and we could not even exhaust 
the list of those whose merit is greatest. 
We are even obliged to exclude a few 
great works by Roban and Shoyo, for 
they touch themes of universal human 
interest rather than reveal the spirit of 
modern Japan. Our choice will be con- 
fessedly partial, but will include little 
that is not in some manner or other ex- 
pressive of the society of the present 

It might be thought necessary to de- 
fine in simple words the meaning of the 
terms literature and society as here used. 
"Literature " is intended to comprise all 
or any artistic, as opposed to scientific, 
writing on man and nature, but, in this 
article, is confined to such essays and 
novels as seem to reflect the social life of 
New Japan. " Society " does not lend 
itself to a precise definition; the com- 
mon sense would scarcely include the 
physical surroundings, the institutions, 

and the domestic and foreign political 
relations of a nation, but would regard 
it rather as aggregate effects of all these 
things and of the nation's collective life 
upon the daily habit, material and moral, 
of the individual. It is unnecessary for 
our purpose to go further and make scho- 
lastic improvements upon this crude 
definition, it sufficiently indicates the 
complex and largely inexplicable nature 
of the question. Hence it is that litera- 
ture delineates, rather than analyzes or 
explains, society. Literature is, there- 
fore, a mirror often a dim and un- 
even mirror of society, and an attempt, 
like the present, to interpret the object 
through the image, must needs be seri- 
ously defective. 

No impartial account of the literature 
of New Japan should fail to accord Tsu- 
bouchi Yuzo (pseudonyms, Shoyo and 
Haru-no-ya) a distinguished place in its 
history. No other writer has been so 
reflective and so modest, and yet so un- 
ceasingly and brilliantly growing, and so 
largely a leader of the literary tendencies 
of the nation, as this sage poet of Okubo. 
For a quarter of a century he has been 
engaged in training the youth at Waseda 
University, whence thousands saturated 
with the natural but profound influence 
of the conscientious master have spread 
over the land, and hundreds have estab- 
lished themselves in the literary world, 

We much regret that our present pur- 
pose forbids us to follow, beyond its very 
first stage, the marvelous literary career of 
Dr. Tsubouchi, first as a novelist, then 
as an essayist, philosopher, educator, and 
dramatist; for, so far as his own literary 
works are concerned, they are too uni- 
versal in import to be expressive merely 
of the Japanese society of to-day. His 
first appearance in 1885-86 as a novelist, 



Literature and Society of New Japan 

however, should serve as the starting 
point of our account. The To-sei sho-sei 
katagi (The Modern Student) came as a 
bolt in a clear sky, caused consternation 
in the followers of the old literary forms, 
and powerfully turned the trend of 
thought of the novelists in a new direc- 
tion. Hitherto most writers had been 
wont to assign different abstract qualities 
to different characters in the story, and 
arrange their acts and careers in such a 
way as to point toward some wholesome 
moral exhortation. Individual charac- 
ters were often overshadowed either by 
inexorable Fate and unforeseen accidents 
or by the commanding power of the fam- 
ily or public institutions. The To-sei 
sho-sei katagi, except in the earlier por- 
tion of its story, completely ignored the 
worn-out conventions of fiction-making. 
A novel without a hero as it was, it re- 
vealed more than half a dozen young 
students with their different character- 
istics in full activity in the heart of bus- 
tling Tokyo. The student's salute and 
the jinrikisha-man's shout are heard on 
every hand ; the society is new, crude, and 
bare; the virtues of the past feudal ages 
are not much in evidence, while the old 
vices remain and have gained force in the 
new age of egoistic hedonism. In this 
vigorous but unembellished society, each 
student is left amid temptations, and 
makes his own career according to his 
character and environment. 

It is a decidedly transitional society 
that the rising novelist depicted in 1885 
and that a host of others have since es- 
sayed to portray. It is a society in which 
old customs persist side by side with a 
rifew order of things, and old intellectual 
and moral habit obtains amid new laws 
and institutions. It is a society, what is 
more, in which the old social sanction 
has passed away, but the old social mind 
still subsists to a large extent, while a 
new social sanction and new social morals 
have hardly been developed. For al- 
though New Japan has, during the forty 
years of her existence, succeeded in re- 
building her legal, political, and educa- 

tional organs upon new foundations, and 
pushing her economic life into the new- 
est stage of the world's material progress, 
her art, religion, and social life, which 
from their very nature cannot be artifi- 
cially changed by laws or by individual 
self-interest, are still far from seeing the 
dawn of a new era. For many years to 
come, the old and the new elements in 
each of these fields must exist in inhar- 
monious juxtaposition, and, quite nat- 
urally, this condition is nowhere more 
evident and more intimately felt than in 
the daily social life of the people. It 
would, of course, be beyond our power 
to unravel this confused state of society. 
All we may hope to accomplish would be 
to make an attempt to point out some of 
the more striking aspects of social life 
and show them reflected in a few notable 
literary productions. 

It is well known that Japan's feudal- 
ism was abolished by law not more than 
forty years ago, and yet in this short 
space of time it has been replaced by the 
new order of things perhaps more com- 
pletely than in England or Germany. 
The transformation is, however, more 
institutional than social. Let us first ob- 
serve that Japan has hardly had time 
enough to outlive the psychic habit which 
she acquired during the seven centuries 
of her feudal regime. For the last two 
hundred and sixty years of this rule, par- 
ticularly, the land was parceled into 
nearly three hundred fiefs, largely auto- 
nomous and in a measure exclusive and 
jealous of each other, and the people were 
bound fast by a rigid system of social 
classes, order, and etiquette. Moreover, 
the country was during this period almost 
entirely protected from foreign influences. 

The universal rule of status held down 
the ambition and stifled the competition 
of the individual, while little stimulus 
came from abroad to kindle in the popu- 
lar mind yearnings for a wider horizon. 
If the natural competition of the fiefs and 
a long period of peace resulted, as they 
did, in developing greatly diversified arts 
of life, in diffusing culture among the 

Literature and Society of New Japan 


lower classes of society, and creating in 
the character of the average citizen a 
degree of both intelligence and chivalry, 
all of which have proved invaluable as- 
sets in the new career of the nation, the 
social conditions did not at the same time 
fail to circumscribe the range of the 
thought and feeling of the individual 
Japanese. It is the effects of this long 
process of limiting one's mental operation 
that the nation has not yet succeeded in 

Unfortunately, despite the sudden ex- 
tension of the sphere of her activity since 
1868, Japan's economic difficulty of main- 
taining an increasing population with lim- 
ited resources a difficulty which is only 
beginning to be lessened by industrial 
openings abroad seems to have retard- 
ed not a little the passing away of the 
cramped mental habit of old. The pre- 
sent Japan may indeed have so improved 
in this regard in recent years as to appear 
almost a strange land to the Japanese of 
half a century ago or to the Korean of 
to-day. An American who does not relish 
even the rather innocent gossip of the New 
England town, and feels at odds with the 
narrow-minded social thinking in some 
countries of the Old World, would be 
annoyed in Japan by the way in which 
every slight success excites unmerited 
applause from some and inevitable jeal- 
ousies from others, by the readiness with 
which the native mind moves along small 
artificial channels of thought and feeling, 
and by the petty criticisms and intrigues 
by means of which not a few seek to 
climb the ladders of life. It would seem 
singular, but it is a natural result of their 
historic training, that the same people 
who have shown themselves to be cap- 
able at critical times of the utmost sacri- 
fice and of an absolute national unity, 
should in their daily struggle of life allow 
their minds to run into old grooves that 
neutralize the growth of open coopera- 
tions and manly conflicts. 

The Ukigumo (Floating Clouds) by 
Hasegawa (nom de plume, Niyotei Shi- 
mei) appeared in 1887-88, and has been 

regarded as the first novel in which the 
development of individual characters is 
the theme. This plain story, told deli- 
cately in a simple prose style, may per- 
haps be cited as an illustration, though 
not quite as adequate as one would wish, 
of the points we have been discussing. 
Uchimi, a young official who early lost 
his parents and has, since he was fifteen, 
been living with his uncle in Tokyo, falls 
in love with the latter's daughter, who is 
vain and light-hearted. He is, however, 
so reserved and so inflexible in his man- 
ners that the chief of the bureau under 
whom he has been serving places him on 
the list of men to be discharged. At once 
the aunt, who was formerly a professional 
singer, and has seemed kind enough to 
Uchimi, begins to make it manifest to him 
that his presence in the family is unwel- 
come and that he should not hope to 
become her son-in-law. One of his for- 
mer colleagues, Honda, a smooth-tongued 
youth, who is a favorite of the chief 
official, now frequently visits the house, 
ingratiates himself in many ways with 
the aunt and her daughter, and skillful- 
ly plays upon the wounded feelings of 
Uchimi, who is dejected and growing pes- 
simistic. One day the latter has a heated 
dialogue with the daughter. " Oh, yes," 
says she at last, " I like Mr. Honda, but 
what is that to you ? " 

Side by side with the limited mental 
sweep of the people, one will discern the 
survival of some old customs and institu- 
tions. If the former may be considered 
a potentiality inherent in the' average 
Japanese, the latter are organs through 
which the nation habitually performs its 
functions of life. Of these old survivals, 
the most persistent and powerful are per- 
haps those of the family. The framers of 
the new Civil Code of Japan, which has 
been largely derived from European laws, 
have shrunk from making as bold changes, 
or introducing as novel provisions, in the 
family law, as they have in other parts 
of the Code. Although every member of 
the family stands under the direct rule 
and protection of law, the Code still ab- 


Literature and Society of New Japan 

stains from interfering with the old cus- 
tom of the parents and their married 
children living under one roof, and with 
the moral pressure which the parent may 
bring to bear upon the child in the choice 
of the latter's life companion. It is ex- 
pedient that in these matters law should 
not precede, but follow, changes in popu- 
lar usage. Old customs about the right of 
the family as against wishes of the in- 
dividual still prevail to a large extent in 
Japan, while her younger generation 
often resists their tyranny. Perhaps it 
might be said that almost every educated 
youth has some personal experience of 
the conflicts of the old and new family 
ideas. The difficulty is either settled 
amicably by the gracious consent of the 
older relatives to the youth's desires, or 
results in the latter's revolt or acquies- 
cence. Of these conflicts, the writers of 
fiction naturally delight in depicting those 
particularly relating to marriage. In this 
connection, reference may be made to 
two of Koyo's novels. 

Ozaki Koyo was a consummate master 
of prose style, and was so prolific a writer 
that during the seventeen years before 
1903, when his lamented death occurred, 
he published not less than eighty-five 
novels and essays, a few of them running 
to several volumes each. His Iro-zange 
(Confessions of Love), published in 1889, 
is a story of a feudal age. The pathetic 
incidents would never occur in the actual 
life of to-day, but the customs described 
in it still remain operative, though in 
much feebler forms. 

The solitary hut of a young, beautiful 
nun, Wakaba, is visited one summer 
evening by. another unknown nun of like 
age, who begs for lodging over the night. 
The latter is touched by a letter pasted 
on a wall, which the hostess in her lonely 
nights is wont to read and ponder. It is 
addressed to Wakaba by her former hus- 
band, she explains, whom she had mar- 
ried only a few days before he departed 
for a battlefield, and states in affection- 
ate terms that he is obliged to divorce her, 
and counsels second marriage to a suit- 

able person. The visitor in return nar- 
rates her pathetic life-story, which the 
novelist puts in his own graphic words. 
A little away from the scene of a fierce 
battle, a wounded young warrior meets 
his uncle,, who brought up the nephew in 
his childhood, after he had lost his par- 
ents, but who is now on the enemy's side. 
The lad is exhausted, and otherwise dares 
not raise his hand against his foster- 
father, who challenges him to fight. The 
bleeding Koshiro is carried away by his 
servant to the uncle's home, where he is 
attended on his sick-bed by the latter's 
daughter Yoshino, to whom he was once 
betrothed. When he regains conscious- 
ness, she gently torments him by such 
questions as these: "Do -I hear aright 
that constancy is the greatest virtue for 
the woman ? " " Pray tell me whether 
a gentleman may have more than one 
lover, while a lady should not marry 
twice ? " She has been constant in her 
tender love for Koshiro, but he has mar- 
ried another. 

He married another in order not to 
stain the name of his ancestry by mar- 
rying an enemy's daughter, but has also 
divorced his wife and set out for the 
war, with the full intention of falling in 
battle and thus atoning with death for 
his forced ingratitude toward his uncle. 
He has been ignobly saved by this very 
uncle in a moment of incapacity. Hear- 
ing now, however, that his lord has died 
in the war, he quietly commits suicide. 
When this narrative of the visiting nun 
is ended, the hostess exclaims, " Then 
you are the betrothed of my late hus- 
band." "And you are his wife," replies 
Yoshino. As they marvel at each other's 
destiny so deftly interwoven, the night 
slowly recedes and a new day dawns. 

Koyo's Futari nyobb (Two Wives) is a 
modern story of the plebeian sort. An 
old official has two daughters, the elder 
pretty and lively and the younger homely 
but reliable. The former becomes the 
second wife of a high official. She bears 
no children, and constantly worries 
about her fastidious mother-in-law. The 

Literature and Society of New Japan 


trouble is increased when his sister, with 
her husband, an army officer, comes from 
Kumamoto to live with the family. Crit- 
ical eyes watch over the conduct of the 
poor mistress of the house. The mother- 
in-law is so dissatisfied with things in 
general that she moves into the new 
home of the officer, who has lately estab- 
lished Jus own quarters, and receives her 
purse-money from her son. Soon she is 
at odds with the new people. In the 
mean time, the high official loses his posi- 
tion, and his mother, now receiving from 
him less money than before, returns to 
his home. The younger daughter, who 
is less pretty and more business-like than 
the elder, is married to an honest friend 
of her childhood who now earns modest 
wages at the government arsenal, and is 
happy and contented. There is no mo- 
ther-in-law to harass her; she loves her 
husband, and has a baby, in whom she 
can forget the ills of life. 

Let us now turn to certain peculiarities 
of the social mind of the Japanese people 
which differentiate it from that of the 
Anglo-Saxons. Seriously as one may 
doubt the oft-repeated assertion that the 
Japanese have a low esteem for human 
life, he cannot be blind to the fact that- 
they have hardly attained to the full 
power of the conception of the dignity of 
the individual person which is felt among 
the more enlightened Britons and Ameri- 
cans. Here, it is true, one deals with a 
question of degrees; but of high signifi- 
cance is whatever little difference that 
exists between the Anglo-Saxon and the 
Japanese in regard to their ideas as to 
the worth of the individual relative to the 
institutions about him, to the manner in 
which the Eastern and Western societies 
view and discuss the conduct of their 
respective members, to the esteem in 
which their press holds the honor of the 
average citizen, and to the independence 
of thought, not necessarily its correctness 
or depth, of the masses about moral ques- 
tions and public affairs. Behind this 
difference, however slight, there must be 
historic lessons of the greatest import. 

Another no less important peculiarity 
of the Japanese social mind is its com- 
parative weakness in the idea of service, 
service to one's fellowmen as distin- 
guished from loyalty to one's superiors. 
It may be said that here again is a ques- 
tion of difference of small degrees, for, 
on the one hand, Japan's annals contain 
noble stories of persons devoting their 
lives to the welfare of society, and, on the 
other, there is perhaps no civilized coun- 
try on earth where the universal and prac- 
tical acceptance of the idea of service 
would not cause a veritable social revo- 
lution. A nation, however, whose masses 
have inherited the notion at least as an 
ideal or a watchword, and whose few 
actually build their lives upon it and are 
never tired of reminding their fellow- 
citizens of its importance, may be said 
to be morally far richer than a people in 
whom the idea is well known but not 
so well as to form a predominant part 
of their collective ethical consciousness. 
The latter is the case with Japan. 

Of her serious defects in this respect, at 
least one manifest cause is discernible in 
history. The two and a half centuries of 
the Tokugawa's feudal rule inculcated the 
idea of loyalty to the lord, and of the 
preponderance of each upper class of so- 
ciety over the lower. On the other hand, 
the ancient Chinese notion of the ruler's 
duty to the people lacked elements in 
both China and Japan to make it more 
than a rhetorical declaration. The idea 
that the official is a master, instead of a 
servant of the people seems, despite the 
clamorous arguments of the political the- 
orists to the contrary, intact among the 
uneducated multitudes, and is naturally 
taken advantage of by the lesser or local 
officials in the present bureaucratic sys- 
tem of Japan. It would be difficult to 
discover among them many who regard 
their posts as a trust from or a service to 
the common people. For similar reasons, 
perhaps, the official is as meek to his 
superior as he is overbearing to his in- 
ferior. His position, too, is so shifting 
that his conception of governmental duty 


Literature and Society of New Japan 

is often remarkably mechanical and in- 
sincere. One visits the public office with 
an instinctive sense of its cold formal- 
ism and ponderous irresponsibility. It 
is little wonder that the average official 
seems soon to become an old, care-worn 
person. The lack of the sense of service 
is, however, not limited to his class, for 
an unconscious copy of the bureaucratic 
system and its clannish selfishness has 
the tendency to develop in any organiza- 
tion of power or wealth, or even of know- 

How to check this general spirit which 
dampens the cheer of society and hin- 
ders wholesome competition among the 
ambitious, is the serious problem that 
faces the otherwise gifted nation. As for 
the permanent introduction among the 
nation of the larger idea of service, as 
well as of the value of the individual per- 
son, perhaps nothing would aid it better 
than a powerful spiritual impulse. 

Between these two great ideas we need 
not assume any historical relation, but it 
is not difficult to find a logical connection 
between them. For the sense of service, 
whatever its origin, implies relations to 
a group of persons each one of whom is 
an individual entity. The case of feudal 
Japan suggests that in a community 
where fixed status prevents the develop- 
ment of social and economic competition 
among its members, the whole fabric of 
its moral customs is apt to be founded 
upon the relation of the person to the 
institutions controlling him, upon the 
exact grading of the classes and other so- 
cial relationships, rather than upon his 
relations to his fellow-beings, each one 
of whom has rights to enjoy, duties to 
perform, a career to make, and a person- 
ality to realize. For the sake of conven- 
ience, let us call the former the old and 
the latter the new view of social morals. 

That this seemingly theoretical differ- 
ence has a tremendous significance in the 
practical daily life of a society, seems 
well borne out in a careful comparison 
of some of the Protestant communities 
with Japan, where the old view dies hard 

and the new principle is far from having 
taken hold of society. The very fact that 
the old view has partly died makes the 
absence of a new all the more evident. 
The old social system which brought its 
moral habit into existence has been nearly 
swept away during the last four decades, 
so that the latter subsists as a psychic 
potentiality, and does not cooperate with 
parts of the new social order. It is, for 
example, totally absent outside of organ- 
izations, official or otherwise, where any 
distinction of classes or other relation- 
ship is possible. A young man who is 
deferential to his father or his professor 
throws down his mask at the class 
banquet, where if the father or the pro- 
fessor were present his dignity would be 
scantily recognized. 

The loss of the old principle and 
the absence of a new is painfully con- 
spicuous in all places in the House 
of Representatives, public meetings, de- 
bates, banquets, hotels, electric and 
steam cars, where people meet on 
the basis of equality. There each per- 
son seems eager to enforce his sense of 
individual comfort, and seems to forget 
his neighbor; or else he puts so little re- 
straint on his speech and conduct that 
one would wonder where is the dignity 
of their author and of the many persons 
who are compelled to hear and see them. 
Compared with the chaotic individual- 
ism seen in the second-class railway car 
in Japan, the busiest streets of Chicago 
present a picture of order. It would seem 
almost impossible to realize that the 
same individual who is so gentle to his 
elders and so loyal to his ruler should, as 
he does, as soon as he touches elbow with 
the rank and file, behave as if he had lost 
his moral sanity. 

A natural effect of this state of things 
is the want, or else the weak immaturity, 
of recognized social customs regarding 
certain relations of life. In these mat- 
ters, particularly in courtship and mar- 
riage, the social vagaries are often in- 
congruous and ludicrous. Let us in this 
connection sketch two stories by Koyo, 

Literature and Society of New Japan 


which seem rather too unreal even in 
New Japan, but yet which could have 
been produced nowhere else. 

In the Nen-ge bi-sho, one reads of a 
young petty official, who, as he walks 
every morning to his office, meets on the 
street a beautiful maiden going to school 
in a jinrikisha. After a few months, they 
begin to bow to each other with a smile. 
One day he goes to see chrysanthemum 
shows at Dango-zaka with his mother 
and sister, and finds the young lady walk- 
ing among the flowers with her mother, 
two maid-servants, and a gentleman. 
The last individual the official concludes 
to be the husband of the person he has 
silently loved. It is unknown what has 
offended her on his part, but after this 
incident she no longer bows to the young 
official at their usual meetings on the 
street, and he is compelled to pretend 
not to see her as she is passing. He is 
later told by his colleagues that the head 
of the bureau in which he serves had two 
daughters, the elder of whom was mar- 
ried against her wishes to a person of 
high position and soon afterwards died. 
Taking lesson from this sad experience, 
he sought to marry the younger daughter 
to any person she loved, and learned that 
a young official whom she saw daily on 
her way to school had taken her fancy. 
While the father was endeavoring to find 
out who the young man might be, the 
daughter saw him one day at Dango- 
zaka with his mother and wife. She was 
thereafter married to a young doctor who 
had just returned from Germany, and 
to whom she offered no particular objec- 

The story of the Ko no nushi by the 
same author, published also in 1890, is 
as follows. Ono Shunkichi, twenty-five 
years of age, a student in the Imperial 
University, has no parents, and lives in 
Tokyo with his younger brother, Shunji, 
thirteen years old, and an old servant. 
The residents of the next house are 
wealthy and have a daughter, named 
Tatsu, who secretly feels an ardent love 
for the student. The latter, however, 

is a stolid character who believes in 
celibacy. In spite of his strenuous ob- 
struction, however, Tatsu succeeds at 
last in befriending his younger brother, 
whom she would use as a lever to move 
the elder. When Shunji is confined in his 
house from the wound inflicted by a mad 
dog belonging to her family, the maiden 
sees a splendid opportunity to visit Ono's 
home and inquire after the condition 
of her little friend. Her visits on seven 
successive days, however, fail to bring 
enough sense of gratitude to the stu- 
dent to meet and thank her in person. 
Shunji recovers from the bite, and se- 
cretly visits the kind fair friend. She 
hands him a letter to his brother, who, 
on receiving it, is so offended as to forbid 
him to go out except to school. During 
his forced confinement the lad plays the 
game of fukiya, which consists in blow- 
ing a needle through a pipe, aiming at 
some birds in the neighbors' garden. His 
brother joins him, and the needle acci- 
dentally hits Tatsu above the eye, and 
causes her to fall from momentary sur- 
prise. In his confusion the young man 
rushes to her, and raises her from the 
ground, when she declares her love for 
him and asks for a promise. " I will 
marry you ! " exclaims Shunkichi, in 
great emotion, " you. will be Mrs. Ono." 
" Banzai! banzai!" cries Shunji. 

Perhaps no civilized society of modern 
times is, or should be, so sufficient unto 
itself as to present an appearance of a 
complete organic unity. There would be 
little progress where there were no new 
forces continually remodeling old cus- 
toms and institutions. This is so true that 
if one should ask individual Americans 
or Germans what their social morals and 
social sanction were, he would probably 
get conflicting answers. Yet we venture 
to say that a society is rarely so inorganic, 
so indeterminate, and so full of friction, 
as in New Japan. A reason for this cir- 
cumstance we have already found in the 
transitional character of the society. An- 
other cause may be the smallness of na- 
tional resources and opportunities in pro- 


Literature and Society of New Japan 

portion to the population, a condition 
under which success is not guaranteed 
to all worthy aspirants, and which neces- 
sitates a reduction of their numbers. Still 
another cause may be the inadequacy, 
especially in education, of the apparatus 
for the training, discipline, and applica- 
tion of individual talents. Too often a 
person fails to develop what is in him, 
and, moreover, his efforts do not always 
bring commensurate recognition from 
others, society being either excessively 
appreciative or totally unresponsive, or 
perhaps both at the same time. These 
irregularities are undoubtedly being re- 
moved by the growing wealth and en- 
larging opportunities of the nation, but 
are still potent and hinder the develop- 
ment of the individual citizen. 

Under these circumstances it is little 
wonder that one cannot point out any 
such thing as the social morals and the 
social sanction of New Japan. Every 
man of strong will and few scruples is his 
own master, so long as he does not per- 
petrate crimes explicitly defined by law. 
Types of this character are occasionally 
found among the new wealthy classes, 
whose lowly forefathers were perhaps 
never subject to the rigorous feudal code 
of honor, and who themselves have 
worked hard to wrest wealth from the 
world, and would now find compensation 
in an unlimited satisfaction of their phys- 
ical wants. No one, they would say, is en- 
titled to a word regarding the manner of 
spending the money which they them- 
selves have made. It is not only some plu- 
tocrats who avail themselves of the want 
of a social sanction, but all classes of peo- 
ple exhibit the same untidiness of social 
conscience. Observe the ridiculous con- 
ceit of the educated and the dignified, yet 
irresponsible, bureaucrats. A student, a 
merchant, or a soldier is a double-faced 
being; he may be highly conscientious 
individually and in relations wherein the 
old morals obtain, but be socially vicious 
where no common censure is heard, and 
be none the less honorable. The press, 
which has little regard for the individual 

person, is glad to expose social wrongs; 
but the offender sustains a comparatively 
slight wound from the taunt, and soon 
recovers from it, for society does not 
judge and has a short memory. 

We select one out of several novels 
which reflect these social traits. Toku- 
tomi Kenjiro's Hototogisu (Nightingale), 
for the comparatively sound morals of its 
contents and also for the lovable char- 
acter of its author, went through many 
editions within a few years after its publi- 
cation in 1900, and has even been trans- 
lated into English under the title Nami- 

Nami, eldest daughter of Lieu ten ant- 
General Kataoka, lost her mother when 
eight years old, and has been brought up 
by a stepmother, who has studied many 
years in England, and who does not feel 
a deep affection for her. Nami at last 
leaves her beloved father, and marries 
Second Lieutenant Kawashima, who ten- 
derly loves his young bride. She is, how- 
ever, under the constant circumspection 
of the old mother-in-law, in whose con- 
servative mind family succession is an 
absorbingly sacred duty. 

Young Chichi-iwa, First Lieutenant of 
the General Staff, was brought up as an 
orphan in the Kawashima family, and 
has always wished to make Nami his 
own, and so utilize the favor of her great 
father in his self-advancement. Inured 
from childhood to a cynical view of life, 
he hates the world and conceives an 
enmity for Second Lieutenant Kawashi- 
ma, his successful rival in love. The lat- 
ter knows it not. The First Lieutenant, 
in collusion with one Yamaki, a wealthy 
merchant, makes use of certain official 
secrets for speculative purposes. Ka- 
washima, on his return from his honey- 
moon, is ordered to go on a cruise for half 
a year. During his absence, Chichi-iwa 
forges a document with Kawashima as 
surety, and borrows three thousand yen. 

As the Second Lieutenant returns, Ya- 
maki tries in vain to persuade him to in- 
vest twenty or thirty thousand in what he 
claims to be a profitable enterprise. On 

Literature and Society of New Japan 


Kawashima's refusal, Chichi-iwa, who 
is present at the interview and does not 
know that the former has already dis- 
covered his forgery, requests him to loan 
him three thousand, and Yamaki prompt- 
ly puts his seal as surety on the legal 
paper which his friend produces. This 
money is intended for the payment of 
the other debt for which the very name 
and seal of Kawashima have been ille- 
gally used. The latter not only declines 
to accede to the bold-faced request, but 
denounces the evil principles of Chichi- 
iwa, and declares that he will from this 
day sever his friendship with him. Soon 
afterwards, his illegal collusion with Ya- 
maki having been discovered, the young 
officer is transferred from the General 
Staff to a regiment. 

Meanwhile, Nami is taken with con- 
sumption, the disease which killed her 
mother, and moves with her husband to 
Dzushi on the seashore. During their 
absence, Chichi-iwa frequently visits Ka- 
washima's mother, and with villainous 
cleverness brings her mind to the convic- 
tion that the welfare of the Kawashima 
family forbids the continued presence in 
it of a consumptive bride. When her son 
visits her on the eve of another cruise, 
she gently broaches the question of 
divorce. The shocked son pleads that 
the divorce would kill Nami, and that, 
if she must die, she should be allowed to 
die as his wife. " Sacrifice the small to 
save the great," says the mother. " There 
are many cases like this in the world. 
There are divorces of wives who do not 
suit the customs of the families, or who 
bear no children, or who have bad dis- 
eases. This is the rule in the world 
there is no injustice and no inhumanity 
in it." " If that is the rule in the present 
world," says the son, " the present world 
may be destroyed, and should be." 

He argues that if he, instead of Nami, 
fell ill, and if on that account she was re- 
called by her parents, the mother would 
not like it. " That is a different matter," 
replies she. " Is not a man different from 
a woman ? " " Do you command me," 
VOL. 102-NO.l 

cries the excited son at last, " to bring 
death to Nami ? " The mother brings 
out the mortuary tablet of the father, 
and calls her son unfilial. " But human 
nature ," begins he. " Nature and 
justice again? Do you think that the 
wife is more important than the parent ? 
Which is the more important, the wife 
or the parent? What? The family?" 
The son at length makes the painful 
compromise of accepting the principle, 
but entreats the old lady to do nothing 
about the matter till his return from the 
cruise. He then goes to see Nami, and 
their parting scene is touching. 

Nami is now as good as divorced. Ya- 
maki, who has always wished, for his 
interest, to marry his silly daughter to 
Lieutenant Kawashima, succeeds in find- 
ing a place for her in the old Madame 
Kawashima's home as pupil of house- 
hold etiquette. The advice the father 
gives the daughter on parting is instruct- 
ive. When she marries the young officer, 
as he expects she will on Nami's divorce, 
the displeasure of the mother-in-law is 
to be warded off by not seeming to live 
on too intimate terms with the husband. 
" You ought to make her feel," says he, 
" that you are her daughter-in-law, rather 
than the wife of her son. The quarrel 
between the mother-in-law and the daugh- 
ter-in-law usually arises from the too great 
intimacy of the young couple, which gives 
a solitary feeling to the old lady." 

Despite the parting entreaty of her 
son, Madame Kawashima is so worked 
upon by Chichi-iwa as to divorce Nami. 
Finding out the fact on his return, the 
son at once responds to a call for going 
to war, and, fighting gallantly at the naval 
battle in the Yellow Sea, in 1894, sus- 
tains a severe wound. At the hospital, 
he receives an anonymous present, and 
writes brief letters to Nami. " There is 
not a day," says one of the letters, " when 
I do not think of you/' The worn-out 
Nami, who has been so recently wounded 
by the divorce, sees before her nothing 
but darkness and misery, and is saved 
from a desperate attempt to drown her- 

Literature and Society of New Japan 

self, by a Christian woman. From the 
latter's sympathetic exhortations she be- 
gins to feel the dawn of her spiritual life. 

Chichi-iwa has laid down his life like 
a true soldier in one of the battles of the 
war. Kawashima again goes to war, on 
recovering from his wound, and acci- 
dentally rescues Lieutenant-General Ka- 
taoka, his former father-in-law, from the 
hands of a Chinese assassin. No sooner 
* does he return home than he is called to 
Formosa. At Yamashina, near Kyoto, 
from a train passing by, Nami perceives 
him in another train, and throws on his 
lap a violet silk handkerchief. 

Soon afterwards she passes away, leav- 
ing for her absent lover a ring and a letter 
written in tremulous hand. Her last utter- 
ance was : " I shall return, I shall return, 
shall I not, dear ? Mother, I am com- 
ing, I am coming. O, are you still 

Returning from Formosa, Kawashima 
visits the tomb of the deceased, and there 
finds the Lieutenant-General, her father. 
44 Lieutenant," says the latter, " Nami is 
dead, but I am still a sort of father to you. 
Be of good cheer you have a long 
career before you. Everything is given 
for the training of a man. O, it is a long 
time since we were together, Lieutenant. 
Come, let me hear your stories of For- 

It should not be forgotten for a mo- 
ment that, aside from the question of 
social morals, Japan possesses distinct 
national or ethnic morals which set her 
apart as a striking example of an abso- 
lute unity of national mind. One has not 
learned the greatest thing about her who 
fails to discern the overmastering trait of 
her psychic life which even so late as 
during the recent war with Russia en- 
abled her entire population of forty-six 
millions to think and act like one man. 
This trait has thus far manifested itself as 
patriotism and loyalty, but we think that, 
potentially, its substance is an intensely 
chivalrous sentiment, which may change 
its mode of expression at different times 
and in different persons. The absorbing 

passion seems to be too universal among 
the nation and too deeply rooted in the 
heart of the individual to have yet been 
adequately pictured in the novels. 

We have reserved until now our dis- 
cussion of some of the tendencies of a 
class of people which requires a separate 
treatment, as it is a species by itself, 
the young men, especially the students, 
of New Japan. Their well-known zeal 
for knowledge, aided by the universal 
faith which the modern world has in the 
efficacy of education, has tended to put 
unusually large numbers of young people 
into the higher schools. These students, 
forming by themselves the most sus- 
ceptible but least responsible class of 
society, reflect in an exaggerated form 
some of the social traits that have al- 
ready been noted. Being naturally rather 
idealistic, and some of them gifted with 
keen moral sensibilities, the students feel, 
perhaps many of them unconsciously but 
all of them none the less deeply, the 
pangs of the moral desolation of society. 
Add to this the effect upon their minds 
of the merciless conduct of the govern- 
ment so insistently to encourage educa- 
tion in its own schools, as distinguished 
from private institutions, and at the same 
time to offer so few of these schools, 
that a vast majority of the applicants for 
entrance perhaps as many as three- 
fourths of the total number are thrust 
aside to shift for themselves. Moreover, 
the supply of schoolbred men is con- 
siderably larger than the demand of so- 
ciety for them. This material difficulty, 
the universal moral famine, and the un- 
known fate which so imminently awaits 
them at the gate of a higher public 
school, casts a sort of unconscious gloom 
upon the students even as early as in 
their preparatory grade. A tinge of blind 
pessimism it may be cynicism 
seems to be creeping over the mass of the 
poor students. Into this dangerous state 
they have been gradually led during the 
past few years, and will be further im- 
pelled in the new age of peace. 

From this state, also, no great man nor 

Literature and Society of New Japan 


any great religion has so far been able 
effectively to rescue the best of the youth, 
nor has there appeared a Werther to ex- 
press the common sorrow and awaken 
the young society to the realization of its 
malady. A worse time is probably yet to 
come. How serious, however, this dis- 
satisfaction already appears to be may 
be illustrated by the marvelous fact that 
some of the young men were not diverted 
from their reflection even by the stirring 
events of the late war, and do not feel the 
least concerned with the commanding 
position which their empire has assumed 
in the East and with their greatly added 
responsibility to the fatherland. When 
one stands in the midst of a society in 
which a moral and spiritual chaos reigns, 
they would say, what leisure has he to 
burden his mind with such an artificial 
organization as the state? This is, of 
course, an extreme case, and should not 
be taken as typical. Another and the 
lowest extreme of the effects of the com- 
mon discontent is the cheap sentiment- 
alism among certain classes of students, 
who find a feeble justification of their 
irresponsible conduct in the words of 
some European poems and fiction. We 
should not, however, be detained by these 
rather exceptional manifestations of the 
moral unrest of the students, but remem- 
ber its fundamental causes and its gen- 
eral nature, and look for some of the more 
normal modes of its expression. 

If one may classify the intellectual 
attitude of man in general into three 
parts, that which studies the truth of 
things, that which judges their value, 
and that which makes new things, or, 
more briefly, investigation, criticism, and 
creation, it is the second attitude that 
appears to have largely characterized the 
thinkers and scholars of Old Japan, par- 
ticularly of the Confucian schools, and 
to be deeply affecting the mental activity 
of the new students. Outside of such 
matter-of-fact studies as the natural 
sciences and medicine, a continual ten- 
dency of the Japanese student is to criti- 
cise things before learning their full 

truth. How often the young man eagerly 
takes up a book or a subject of study, and 
is in its first stages so deeply impressed 
by its importance or apparent unim- 
portance that he is unable to go forward 
to complete it! He takes, as it were, less 
interest in the subject than in the im- 
pression it gives him. His attitude seems 
to be essentially modal: he seeks more 
adjectives than substantives. In some 
respects, students of few countries per- 
ceive more quickly than he the general 
perspective of a complex subject, or are 
able to speak more wisely and display a 
readier appreciation of its value, although 
in a life-long competition of research the 
premature Japanese might probably fall 
behind his slow but steady foreign rivals. 
His propensity to criticise is by no means 
limited to his intellectual activity, but 
pervades his whole mental life. 

Naturally and unfailingly the young 
man determines in his mind the great- 
ness or smallness of a new instructor or 
a new acquaintance at the first meeting, 
and judges with great facility the value of 
a new course of study or a new literary 
or artistic production. All the magazines 
which he reads are thoroughly critical in 
their nature, as are the clever short stories 
he may himself write. If he goes abroad, 
his mind is occupied every moment with 
criticisms of men and things about him, 
an objectified picture of which would 
. astonish the American with their preco- 
cious, intricate, and stunted character. 

This sort of mental practice, which we 
have for lack of a better term called crit- 
icism, should be strictly distinguished 
from criticism in the scientific sense, for 
it does not consist in seeking and weigh- 
ing evidence and judging the value of 
one's conclusion from the standpoint of 
objective truthfulness. On the contrary, 
it is the process of estimating the worth 
of things by a largely subjective standard, 
which may in some cases consist of cer- 
tain philosophic principles that the stu- 
dent has learned from some source, or a 
set of moral ideas which controls his con- 
duct and moulds his point of view, or, 


Literature and Society of New Japan 

not indeed infrequently, bold notions 
with which he unconsciously justifies his 
own temperament or that of his com- 
munity. Critical habit in this sense has, 
it is not too much to say, taken hold of 
the student world of New Japan. 

It is not implied either that the Japan- 
ese student is naturally dogmatic or that 
he is immovably bound to his opinions, 
for it seems he really possesses to a re- 
markable degree that fairness and catho- 
licity of mind which frankly succumbs to 
evidence, and which might be, as it very 
often has been, trained into a transparent 
scientific attitude. We only refer to the 
interesting fact that the otherwise sus- 
ceptible mind is extremely busy in pass- 
ing judgments on matters and personal- 
ities from the throne of its limited know- 
ledge and sentiment. 

This critical habit of the young man 
has several times since the beginning of 
New Japan changed its forms of expres- 
sion, according to changes in the social 
conditions. During the eighties of the 
last century, for example, when the dif- 
ference of political views between the 
conservative government and the radi- 
cals absorbed the attention of society, 
many of the students applied their critical 
faculty to things political, protesting 
against the insufficient popular rights 
granted by the authorities, and severely 
condemning their behavior from the 
standpoint of the political theories they 
had learned from Europe. Champions 
of liberty, such as Kono, Suehiro, and 
Ozaki, were acclaimed, and novels de- 
scribing the persecution and the ultimate 
triumph of imaginary heroes of popular 
freedom, enlivened with a modicum of 
romance used to lend color to the narra- 
tive, enjoyed a large circulation among 
the students. Since that time, social con- 
ditions have altered, and the young critics 
have changed their visual angle more 
than once. What is of special interest to 
us is the latest development, which is 
becoming manifest under the general 
social tendencies already discussed in 
preceding paragraphs. 

Several educated Japanese, some of 
them from sincere motives, have become 
professed socialists, and then* generaliz- 
ing arguments have found an incredible 
number of sympathizers among the stu- 
dents and even among pupils in the sec- 
ondary schools. The practice of judging 
the iniquity of the existing social condi- 
tions in a brilliant, sweeping manner 
must indeed seem fascinating to the 
young man whose eye is ever turned out- 
ward and whose lips are always ready to 
denounce others. The apparent sincer- 
ity of the call, too, adds much to its 
strength. The students, who have once 
cursed the political injustice of the gov- 
ernment, and devoured the novels by 
Suehiro and Shiba, now find the object 
of their reproach in the economic wrongs 
of society, and hence applaud the doings 
of Tanaka Shozo and the writings of 
Kinoshita Shoko, interpreting them in 
the light of their socialistic understanding 
of whatever kind. 

Another set of young men is interested 
in the more refined work of the " criti- 
cism of civilization." Being untrained in 
economics and law, but inclined to liter- 
ature, and having tasted the rudiments of 
philosophy, they readily, though super- 
ficially, appreciate the ideas of Nietzsche, 
Zola, Ibsen, Tolstoy, and other modern 
writers who have in different ways criti- 
cised the value of our civilization. Works 
of these writers and those of great living 
authors in Europe, it is strange to note, 
seem to be more extensively read and 
more quickly taken up in Japan than 
in America. Even more strange is the 
prevailing tone of the current literature 
among the young Japanese, which criti- 
cises phases of modern civilization in an 
extremely clever but petty and immodest 
manner that is to the foreigner almost 

Of this general tendency, an embodi- 
ment was found in the late Takayama 
Rinjird, whose premature death took 
place in 1903. Highly intelligent and 
susceptible by nature, the young Taka- 
yama, after graduation from the Im- 

Literature and Society of New Japan 


perial University of Tokyo, perhaps in 
1896 had already established his fame 
as a charming writer of philosophic and 
aesthetic criticism. From that time till 
his death, his ideas underwent the great 
change from those of an extreme advo- 
cate of nationalism to those of the most 
irresponsible individualist, declaring in 
1901 that his earlier notions were but 
an expression of the superficial part of 
his true nature. This change, however, 
as was evident to any one who had fol- 
lowed his career, was a gradual unfolding 
of his temperament, the traits of which 
were discernible even before his entrance 
into the university. 

During the last two or three years of 
his life, he was avowedly a subjective 
critic, and his standpoint that of "a 
species of individualism," as he himself 
termed it, " tinged with Romanticism." 
"If I were a poet," said he, "I would 
be a Korner, a Byron, or a Heine." He 
designated as "critics of civilization" 
Whitman and Nietzsche, the latter of 
whom he was at particular pains to 
introduce to the nation. He boldly de- 
nounced morals as self-contradictory, for, 
argued he, anything that ignored " the 
natural desires of man " obstructed the 
aim of human life. Human knowledge 
was foolish, and moral worth of things 
was dubious, the only absolute, intrinsic, 
and positive value being the " aesthetic." 
Of the purest aesthetic value was the 
gratification of the instincts, and the most 
perfect aesthetic life was love. 

He bent his whole energy and his great 
talent as a writer to the exposition of this 
irresponsible doctrine of " the aesthetic 
life," and was enthusiastically received 
by the students. It is not difficult to see 
the reason for his immense popularity 
with them. The visibly sad undertone 

of his writings, due probably in part 
to his incurable disease, appealed to the 
corresponding undertone among a large 
part of the young men. His theory of the 
gratification of the instincts found re- 
sponse among both the morally depraved 
and the over-literary classes, while his 
noble sensibility, which gave a certain 
elevation to his words, attracted even the 
more spiritual. His general attitude of 
doubting the fundamental nature of civil- 
ization was representative of the tend- 
ency among a large body of young people. 
He was thus hailed as the exponent of the 
student world, and his popularity, to- 
gether with his remarkable susceptibility, 
led him onward in the chosen path, until 
his death intervened. From a certain 
point of view, however, he might be 
deemed a victim of the critical tendency 
of the student of the new age. He was 
caught and swallowed by it, and his high 
intellectual power, which might other- 
wise have been productive of permanent 
contributions to truth or poetry, was en- 
listed in the service, it is regrettable to 
say, of subjective criticism. 

In no less real sense are many of the 
young men in the danger of falling moral 
victims to the general conditions of so- 
ciety. New Japan presents a picture of 
striking contrasts within herself. Polit- 
ically and economically, on the one hand, 
the issues of the nation are growing 
larger and clearer, and its outlook bright- 
er and more cheerful. In the same ratio, 
on the other hand, is becoming apparent 
the want of a new moral order of society. 
Fortunately, the brightness of the former 
is far too great to be visibly eclipsed by 
the darkness of the latter. The disparity 
between the two would, however, seem 
none the less interesting to the observer 
and dangerous to the nation. 




WHAT traveler in Switzerland I do 
not say tourist has not heard of Cogne ? 
Who among the number has not wished 
to reach it and be at rest ? How few the 
favored ones who have succeeded! 

Our fathers have told us of the Swit- 
zerland of their day: a land of peace 
and quiet, of cheery welcome and honest 
hearts; a land where all men were friends. 
But the Grindelwald and Zermatt of old 
have departed. They have vanished for- 
ever with their kindly hosts and friendly 
servants, whose modest inns have given 
way to vast modern hotels with French 
cookery and advertised comforts. The 
cow-tracks have grown into streets with 
seductive shops. The eager populace 
roam about seeking for tips. The dress 
coat is nightly to be seen in the land. The 
saddened mountaineer hastens to hide 
his well-worn Norfolk in cabanes and 
hutten, with the memories of other days 
heavy in his soul. The sweetest sound in 
nature was the tinkling of the countless 
bells of the Wengera Alp, as it rose aloft 
to the climber on the Monch, and swelled 
and faded with the light breeze. Now its 
silvery music is drowned by the raucous 
scream of the locomotive on the Kleine 
Scheidegg. The glorious view from the 
platform of the Gornergrat has been de- 
stroyed by the erection of the wooden 
barn of the Belvedere, where a noisy 
throng assemble daily and quack poly- 
glot banalites on the giants of the Pen- 
nines. Wherever railway, boat, or dili- 
gence can force its way, there it disgorges 
its loads of trippers from the Vaterland, 
Birmingham and Manchester men with 
their interesting families, excursion par- 
ties from every state in the Union. 

And the worst is not yet. Already the 

greed of a company has tunneled the 
hoary old Eiger, and is attacking the 
Jungfrau, purest, peerless among maid- 
ens. A suspension tram is to haul its 
gaping freight up the precipices of the 
Wetterhorn. Trains on runners are to 
defile the sacred sweep, of the Aletsch. 
The majesty of the Matterhorn itself is 
to be desecrated, if the ears of the legis- 
lators are deaf to the fervent appeals 
from within and without the land; and 
its tented roof will soon be gored by a 
many- windowed gallery, and a Guide 
bewahrel will lecture to the Person- 
ally Conducted on the distant scenes and 
the tragic history of the peak. 

Cogne variously pronounced in the 
neighborhood, Con, Cun, and Cunzhe 
being the most popular varieties owes 
its fame and attractiveness, not to its 
circling sea of ice and snow, nor to the 
charm of its valley and the gloomy terror 
of its gorges, nor even to the glorious 
trinity of La Grivola, Gran Paradiso, and 
Herbetet, but to an old-time simplicity 
still kept unspotted from the world by 
the difficulties and disagreeables of get- 
ting there. 

To begin with, if untoward circum- 
stances prevent you from reaching it by 
the natural means of a mountain pass, a 
back-breaking diligence must be taken 
for hours along a hot, white, dusty road, 
much beloved of scorching automobilists. 
Why, par parenthese, do these odorsome 
gentry so particularly affect the dustiest 
roads ? But it were as sensible to ask why 
they all seem to bear a striking family 
resemblance. Anyhow, the Italian Auto- 
mobile Touring Club makes this a favor- 
ite run, and the wayside chalets from 
Aosta to Courmayeur are dotted with 
notices of Benzina a vendere. 

The diligence and the motors are left 

Fresh Snow on La Grivola 


on the shadeless high road about half a 
mile above the village of Aymaville. The 
mule, that you have wired to meet you 
exactly then and there, is nowhere to be 
seen. After waiting for an irritating time 
in dust and sun, the conviction grows 
that, if your luggage is to get down to the 
village at all, you will have to carry it 
yourself, and you take up your burden. 
In Aymaville a horse has been standing 
all ready for an hour; and you had better 
not get out of temper with the owner. 
His charge is exorbitant of course ; much 
more so, if you foolishly take a petite 
voiture, as he will eloquently try to per- 
suade you, telling of the trials of twenty- 
five kilometers uphill along a rugged 
road. As a matter of fact, it turns out 
to be fairly good walking, is not at all 
trying for any one in decent condition, 
and could easily be done under four 
hours, if the driver would permit. 

After mounting the first tiresome slopes 
out of Aymaville, the road becomes easier 
but narrower, till it is for the most part 
a mere ledge some eight or ten feet wide 
on the face of a precipice. In about half 
an hour the grim defile of the Val d'Eypia 
is entered. There is no pretense at railing 
or parapet, and it requires at times some 
address to pass the occasional vehicles 
and heavily laden peasants without going 
over the side into the abyss below. 

The scenery becomes wilder. The road 
rises to a great height above the Grand* 
Eypia, which boils below in tireless battle 
with obstructing rocks, after the manner 
of headstrong Alpine torrents. A fine 
cascade and several smaller falls, glacier 
tributaries of the Eypia, are passed. 
The stones along the road's edge are 
margined with masses of delicate ferns ; 
oakferns, hartstongues, spleen worts pre- 
dominating. The sharp turns in the val- 
ley bring us from twilight into bright sun- 
shine. Here butterflies rare and common, 
exquisite fritillaries, brilliant moths, 
nearly all of smaller size, flutter about 
the gayly colored flowers that fairly cover 
every available patch of soil. 

Few things strike the stranger to the 

mountains more forcibly than the alti- 
tudes at which the flowers and insects 
flourish. Every alp is a bright carpet of 
primary hues, though it freezes hard 
there as soon as the sun departs. I have 
seen hundreds of butterflies I think 
they were the common red admiral 
on the rocks of the Ruinette, at a height 
of over 11,000 feet. Mosquitoes have 
followed me high up the snows of Mount 
Temple. I have picked white flowers just 
below the abandoned upper hut on the 
Matterhorn (12,526 feet); and have a 
photograph of the Alpine saxifrage on 
the summit of Emilius (11,675 feet), 
which was long thought to be a flaw in 
the film. 

In the ravines running down to the 
river bed grow ancient larches with curi- 
ously distorted trunks, twisted out of all 
resemblance to the slender arrowy tree 
we know, by the violence of the winds that 
sweep up the valley. Here, on the rock 
ledges, and wherever there is soil to be 
found, the thrift of the peasant raises his 
tiny plot of corn, vines, potatoes. Some- 
times the melting of the winter's snows 
washes away a valuable field several 
yards in extent; sometimes it enriches a 
more fortunate proprietor with a corre- 
sponding increase of estate. 

Imagine the wife saying to the hus- 
band in spring, as they inspect the fut- 
ure potato-patch eight feet by four 
two hours' perpendicular climb from the 

" At least three inches of soil have col- 
lected on this rock. Shall we not plant 
a hill here?" 

Husband : " Well, my dear, it is per- 
haps worth the trial ; but I am afraid the 
seed will be wasted." 

The men plough, mow, reap. The 
women assist them, and carry the crops 
down to the valley below in huge bundles 
on their backs. Horses or mules are sel- 
dom used in the harvest; for they cost 
money, and the path is often too steep 
for either, at least in descending. The 
size of the burdens is enormous; yet the 
bearers step out lightly. They are accus- 


Fresh Snow on La Grivola 

tomed to it almost from birth. The little 
tot of four years old carries her tiny bun- 
dle on her shoulders like the rest. This 
early toil, added to the habit of tucking 
up the skirts round the waist, gives the 
girls a figure curiously distended about 
the hips. The women often go bare- 
headed, the men never they even put 
on woolen nightcaps in bed. The younger 
girls have a fresh complexion, and often 
very pretty faces, both more suggestive 
of Switzerland proper than of Italy. But 
good looks and brilliant color soon de- 
part; at middle age they are prematurely 
old, withered, and wrinkled; in old age 
they are crippled witches. 

After a time we come to the little vil- 
lage of Vieyes, at the mouth of the pic- 
turesque glen of the Nomenon. Here 
there is a cantina, and the driver affects 
great concern for the welfare of his ani- 
mal, which has been walking for nearly 
two hours under the oppression of a small 
portmanteau and a rucksack (total 
twenty-eight kilogrammes by the railway 
scales) . Half an hour's halt for hay, wine, 
and tobacco. Keep your temper, and 
pay up like a man. 

The Italian vetturino, if not a high- 
class driver, is certainly a magnificent 
whip. It rather gets on one's nerves at 
last, the incessant cracking of the lash 
which occupies the intervals between 
applying it to the poor beast's head and 
sides. Fortunately for him, he does not 
seem to mind it much, for he does not 
alter his pace in the least. There is some- 
thing homelike in the continual cries of 
" Whoo-oop Gee!" varied occasionally 
by a sound like " Coom-ong." But the 
only really effective method of quicken- 
ing the speed seemed to be addressing re- 
proaches to him in a mild, pained voice. 
This caused surprise at first, till I dis- 
covered that it was the regular prelude 
to the final resort of twisting his tail, 
otherwise employed in towing his master 

At one turn only in the road we are 
vouchsafed a view of La Grivola. It is 
the curved snow arete of her northwest- 

ern side that she presents to us for a few 
minutes ; an unbroken sweep of dazzling 
purity from summit to base. There is 
something so transcendent, so arresting, 
in the sudden revelation of that cold 
splendor high overhead in the blue sky, 
as for one brief space the night of the 
gloomy cliffs is split, that we hold our 
breath in silent homage. The driver, 
familiar as he is with the sight, stops to 
admire, and for the only time noises fail 

But, fascinating as is this passing 
glimpse of her soaring spire, La Grivola 
is seen to best advantage from one of the 
near peaks to the northeast or southwest. 
Then the length of flanking rock-wall, 
which takes so much from her stature 
when seen across the Trajo glacier, dis- 
appears; and she becomes a graceful 
white lady, with dainty head bending 
slightly forwards, and slender, sloping 
neck; fit mate for the grim black Matter- 
horn across the way, broad brow erect, 
resolutely buffeting the blasts with ag- 
gressive shoulders. 

The valley opens out at length into a 
fair green plain, a kilometer wide, girt 
with a cirque of fir-clad cliffs. Three 
mountain streams come parting the fields 
from north and south and east, and at the 
meeting of the waters is a rambling hud- 
dle of chalets and white stone buildings, 
overseen by a quaint church tower. 

And that is Cogne. 

There is not much embarrassment in 
the choice of hotels. There are just two 
of them, named of course La Grivola 
and Gran Paradise. The former, which 
I choose, is kept by a Gerard, relative of 
the well-known guides; the other by the 
cure of the parish. There are no stuffy 
carpets in rooms or halls, but the white 
boards are riddled with the nails of a 
generation of climbers. Everything is 
scrupulously clean. Every one is charm- 
ingly hospitable and attentive. As I am 
vigorously removing the traces of the 
day's tramp in my room, enter two maids 
with fresh linen for the bed. Far from 
fleeing incontinent at the splashing, they 

Fresh Snow on La Grivola 


stop to chat and give eager information 
about recent ascents, the state of the 
bergschrund on Paradiso, the rocks on 
Grivola for, of course, signore has 
come to climb ? 

Thank goodness, no one does come as 
yet for other purposes than climbing, 
tramping, or naturalizing; but how long 
will this blessed state of things last ?' The 
sacra fames is already compelling the 
foolish inhabitants, and they are agitat- 
ing for a widening of the road and a tri- 
weekly vettura service, which shall in- 
troduce the German, the American, and 
the British tourist to this earthly Eden, 
which will then promptly cease to exist. 
Even so has many another restful nook 
of olden times perished by the high road 
that leadeth to destruction. 

A similarly delightful state of patri- 
archal simplicity reigns in the other de- 
partments of the establishment; though 
there is no hay now in the bedrooms, nor 
do the chickens any longer flutter down 
from perches overhead to share your 
food, as old Seraphin Bessard tells of. 

The dining-room is also reading, writ- 
ing, and smoking-room. This is as it 
should be. Ladies who object, or don't 
smoke I did not meet any can al- 
ways take their meals in comfort on the 
doorstep. A sweet little maid of fourteen 
presides, and is touchingly interested in 
your appetite. I think mine pleased her. 
The red wine, far superior to the ordinary 
Valdostano, may be described as a light 
Burgundy with a dash of Cape Madeira. 
The food is excellently cooked, and the 
dishes much too luxurious T^r people who 
are earnestly trying to train down to 
something like decent condition. That 
wholly good and indescribable gray- 
green soup that goes so well with Par- 
mesan; fresh trout from a neighboring 
brook; a local dressing for spaghetti that 
is worth working up an appetite for 
if they would only stop with these. The 
landlord discusses the guides, examines 
your nails, and grows reminiscent of the 
days when Mr. Coolidge and Mr. Yeld 
used to come to Cogne. And his charges 

but I am not going to give them away. 
No act of mine shall hasten the bitter end, 
and contribute to the ruin of this haven 
of peace. 

Full in front of my bedroom window 
the snows of Gran Paradiso, visible 
through a V in the black cliffs, are crim- 
son with the Alpengliihen, as I retire to 
early rest; for the Punta Tersiva is the 
morrow's training climb. But a few min- 
utes, and the moon has transmuted them 
to purest silver. The growing cold tears 
me away from the contemplation of their 
lonely mystery, towering solemnly into 
the purple mezzotint of the sky. One 
more lingering look at Mont Blanc, shin- 
ing starlike down the valley thirty miles 
away, and into bed with you. Prix 
No wonder it is cold. We are over five 
thousand feet above the sea. Even this 
absurd down quilt, which only reaches 
from breast to knees, is welcome. Let 
me try it diamond- wise. 

The general population of the place 
are equally friendly. They give you 
" Good-day," when they meet you, and 
" Bless you," when you sneeze. They are 
replete with information when you start 
for a tramp; they congratulate and ask 
particulars on your return from a climb. 
Young and old profess surprise and dis- 
may when they learn of your departure. 
For the time comes at length when you 
must leave Cogne, and, sadder still, re- 
turn to Aymaville and the high road, to 
the dust and the motors and the dili- 
gences, to the wretched comforts of civil- 

Then the question of how to get back 
has to be faced. If the gymnastically- 
minded visitor requires a change in the 
nature of his exertions, let him drive back 
in a petite voiture to catch the morning 
diligence. If he is one of those lazy fel- 
lows who generally walk, he will prob- 
ably be extremely surprised; and his 
aching body will suggest a source that 
might have inspired the first massageurs 
with the idea of passive exercise. If, in 
addition, the horse be one that is much 
given to shying at fallen trees, old women, 


Fresh Snow on La Grivola 

calves, and the like, he will not complain 
of the monotony of the way. The slabs 
on La Grivola are less exciting. 
Crede experto. 


IT is a good many years since I first 
saw La Grivola. It was a case of love 
hot, burning love at first sight. Rest- 
ing for breath on the rocks of Emilius, 
my gaze was attracted by a snowy spire 
that was beginning to rise Valsavaranche- 
wards. The guide, an ancient duffer who 
knew no tongue but the Valdostan dialect, 
managed to explain that its name was 
La Grivola. A beautiful name, that be- 
fits the owner: La Grivola, the famous, 
the Matterhorn of the Eastern Graians. 

From the summit of our peak she pre- 
sented a truly remarkable appearance. 
Two sides of her pyramid were visible: 
one a solid black rock-face from apex 
to base: the other an unbroken slope of 
purest white. She at once became the 
object of my climbing ambition. Nor 
was there any likelihood of forgetting her. 
There is no loftier rival to hide her lovely 
face from the kings of the Mont Blanc, 
Grand Combin, and Monte Rosa groups, 
the three great ranges that stretch east 
and west to the north of her. From many 
a summit of these I have since looked for 
her graceful figure, and seldom in vain. 
She is always visible, if your own eyes be 
not clouded. 

" Our peaks are always clear on a fine 
day," says Pierre, as we throw ourselves 
down panting on a mountain-top, and 
see the ranges round us, from Dauphine 
to Oberland, veiled in summery cirrus 

So it came to pass that in the process 
of time I made a pilgrimage to Cogne. 

There are two Gerards known to fame 
as guides ; but on my arrival I found them 
both engaged. The landlord recommend- 
ed a third brother, Pierre by name, 
every one speaks French in Cogne, and 
very fair French, for they are carefully 
taught it in the schools, and I had no 

reason to be sorry for the exchange. He 
proved himself steady, capable, most 
attentive to his monsieur, and excellently 
acquainted with his own country. A 
fourth brother, Sylvester, turned up for 
this expedition as porteur, and we started 
for the cabane de Pousset. I learned 
later that it would have been far better 
to start from the hotel and do it all in 
one day. But good advice and experience 
are apt to reach us a little behind time. 

There had been only one ascent of La 
Grivola so far in the season, made by 
Pierre himself with two English climbers. 
But much snow had fallen on her since 
then, and her black dress, usually show- 
ing so clean between the edges of her 
ermine mantle, was now wearing a sus- 
piciously spotty, guinea-fowl look. The 
famous guide Burgener had arrived at the 
hotel that morning from Zermatt, with 
two German climbers, for the express 
purpose of doing La Grivola. He abso- 
lutely refused to attempt it, and they 
had to content themselves with a tedious 
grind up the Gran Paradiso. 

It occurred to me at the time as rather 
a sporting act to wipe the eye of Alex- 
ander the Great, and Pierre, being young 
and enthusiastic, I like keenness in a 
guide, and prefer to attend to the discre- 
tion myself was more than willing; 
but later we began to entertain respect 
for our superior's opinion, when we were 
clawing for handholds on ice-varnished 
rocks. It recurred to our minds with in- 
creasing weight, as we sprawled on those 
evil slabs of the last rib. It takes a truly 
great guide to refuse on occasion. 

The cabane is reached by the usual 
four hours' weary zigzagging up the steep 
side of the Val d'Eypia. Drawing near it, 
I was rewarded with one of the most in- 
teresting sights in all my hill experience. 

Some gray spots were seen moving 
along a ledge on the cliff ahead. The 
brothers grew excited, and proclaimed 
them as bouquetins. They might as well 
have been sheep at the distance; but just 
then two royal chasseurs came swinging 
down valley- wards, provided with power- 

Fresh Snow on La Grivola 


ful field-telescopes. One amiably made 
a rest with his cap on a rock and took 
careful aim with the longuevue, and I 
was soon able to watch four live bouque- 
tins at a seeming interval of some hun- 
dred feet. The first was a noble beast 
with huge horns; the last was barely 
three parts grown. The elders were still 
wearing much of their gray winter over- 
coats : the junior had come out in a new 
summer suit. As they nibbled along in 
single file, the leader suddenly looked 
up at an invisible ledge overhead, appar- 
ently a dozen feet above him, probably 
between six and seven, and without tak- 
ing a step jumped up to it "all stand- 
ing." Numbers 2 and 3 followed suit, 
and finally the youngster rose to it with- 
out an effort, bird-like. The grace of the 
action cannot be described. After this a 
light-hearted chamois practicing dance- 
steps on the rocks all by himself pro- 
voked only a languid interest. 

The bouquetin is the most daring and 
skillful mountaineer known. Formerly 
roaming all over the Alps, as the names 
of the Dent des Bouquetins, of exciting 
memory, and of other peaks prove, his 
comparative boldness has led to his de- 
struction; while the shyer nature of the 
chamois has enabled the latter to prolong 
a precarious existence. The mountains 
about Cogne are a shooting preserve of 
the King of Italy, and here the last of 
the bouquetins are carefully protected. 
According to the natives, their numbers, 
now estimated at over two hundred, are 
increasing. They are frequently to be 
seen by the climber in this part of the 
Graian Alps. 

The cabane de Pousset is not the worst 
climbing hut in the Alps. If the floor was 
clay, it was fairly dry. If the wooden 
tray in the corner contained neither rugs, 
hay, nor straw, at least we did not have 
to share it with unpleasant companions. 
There was neither stove nor chimney, 
but we had the stone fireplace all to our 
own cooking, and the brisk wind that 
blew through the holes in the walls soon 
drove the smoke out of doors. 

Mountaineers who can do their climb- 
ing from a hotel, starting with a warm 
breakfast, after sleep in a comfortable 
bed, have much to be thankful for. The 
case is different when, after a sleepless 
night, with joints aching rheumatically 
from the hardness of the couch, unrested, 
half -frozen, and insufficiently fed, the 
climber has perhaps to face the hardest 
toil of his life ; when, in spite of lacerated 
fingers, strained sockets, and quivering 
muscles, the eye must be clear and the 
head steady ; when hand and foot, numb- 
ed and aching with the cold, must do 
their duty without a slip. Useful, neces- 
sary as the rope is on ice or snow, often 
though it may save one from the conse- 
quences of a stumble, woe unto him 
and his guide that putteth his trust 
therein on precipitous crags! 

With thoughts like these I stumbled 
out at 3 A. M., in a wind that chilled to 
the bone, and followed Pierre's lantern 
to the steep snows that lead to the foot 
of the Col de Pousset. A glorious dawn 
was flushing the Graian snow-peaks to 
pink, as we breasted the slopes, and soon 
we were scrambling up the upright but 
easy rocks to the summit of the col. 
Arrived at the top, the rope was put on, 
for now the neve of the Trajo glacier had 
to be crossed diagonally. The snow was 
frozen hard after yesterday's thaw, and 
we made rapid progress to the foot of 
our peak, with the rays of the rising sun 
shining gratefully on our backs. Here 
the neve runs up to steep ice slopes that 
bridge the bergschrund and meet the 
mountain proper. 

The ascent from the Trajo glacier is 
made entirely up the rock-face of La 
Grivola's pyramid. On the other sides 
it is made principally up snow and ice. 
The two edges of the rock-face are easy 
curves and from a distance look feasible 
and tempting. As a matter of fact, owing 
to deep clefts and slabby gendarmes, 
they are all but impossible. A broad cen- 
tral couloir and a smaller one to the right 
run far up the face between three pre- 
cipitous rock-ribs. Under favorable con- 

Fresh Snow on La Grivola 

ditions it is possible to make much of the 
ascent by these couloirs, but on this occa- 
sion the new snow put their use altogether 
out of the question. The route begins on 
the rib to the left of the great couloir; 
when this becomes impracticable, the 
couloir must be crossed to the centre rib, 
and so on; till the original line brings 
the climbers out on the summit. Neither 
arete is touched from start to return. 
Ordinarily speaking, the only danger is 
from the falling stones that continually 
sweep the couloirs, but to-day it is the one 
that is wanting, doubtless owing to the 
fresh snow on the upper crags. 

We found the rocks on the first rib 
upright but good, with but a little snow 
in the hollows, and stuck to them for 
several hundred feet, before it became 
necessary to cross the great couloir to the 
rib on its right. Here our troubles began. 
The rocks were less steep, but slabby 
and much harder, the downward and 
outward dip of the strata being very pro- 
nounced, and the cracks, which should 
have made them easy, filled with hard 
snow or ice. We soon had to cross the 
smaller couloir to get something simpler. 
But here the verglas began to make itself 
objectionable. The rocks of this buttress 
were glazed with a coating like brown 
glass, sometimes in ropes and lumps sev- 
eral inches thick. I have never seen 
worse. Gloves were not to be thought 
of, and, to add to my misery, each good 
prominent handhold was decorated with 
a tuft of snow, till frozen fingertips be- 
came sodden too. 

Back again. But little improvement. 
Once more across the great couloir to the 
perpendicular rocks of the left-hand rib, 
with the summit crags overhanging us 
up in the sky. Still the hideous verglas 

"Ferme, Pierre?" 

" Non, monsieur ; mais il faut avancer." 

Foot by foot ; with painf ul caution, the 
top is neared. The rocks become harder 
and the holds less frequent, but the work 
grows pleasanter, for the ice coating is 
beginning to disappear in the sun. 

It was about time. Not only were fin- 
gers in a deplorable condition, the mem- 
ory of which was to abide for several days 
to come, but there were two awkward 
corners to be turned with a stretch of va- 
rappe that is, crackless slab between; 
a mauvais pas that can sometimes be 
avoided by taking hereabouts to the 
northeastern arete. As I was vainly feel- 
ing round the buttress with leg and arm 
for knob or notch, the thought kept in- 
truding, " What will this be like in de- 
scending ? " Fortunately Pierre is a good 
guide and does not pull on the rope, but 
leaves you to work out your own pro- 
blems. At the worst corner we were hori- 
zontally placed, and a tug would prob- 
ably have sent us both to the bottom. 

This pulling habit is one of the worst 
vices in a guide. When on the knife-edge 
of a giddy arete, they will take a pull at 
the rope that nearly sends you into an 
abyss below. They think to give you 
support. They simply upset your deli- 
cate balance. Is it not Leslie Stephen 
who relates how on a peak one day he 
met a countryman, who piteously im- 
plored him to tell him the German for 
" don't pull"? 

Immediately under the summit the rib 
leans inwards, and as we mount rapidly, 
I wonder how we are to get over the pro- 
jecting edge. A convenient cleft in the 
coping comes into view, through which 
we crawl, and at nine o'clock stand on the 
summit of La Grivola. 

A cloudless, windless sky greeted us 
as we clambered on to the little flattened 
snow cone to the right, that forms the 
allerhochste Spitee, just big enough to 
hold two at once. Third dejeuner at once 
on the edging rocks, with our boots dan- 
gling over vacancy. All the old familiar 
faces are smiling at us to-day, from the 
black Viso in the Cottians to the grand 
old Finsteraarhorn, the monarch of the 
Oberland. The Meije, Ecrins, Mont 
Blanc, Aiguille Verte, Grand Combin, 
Dent Blanche, Matterhorn, and Monte 
Rosa are as usual most forward in claim- 
ing recognition. Before noon, however, 

Fresh Snow on La Grivola 


all our northern friends have retired into 
seclusion for the rest of the day. 

The question of returning soon forced 
itself on our notice. The snows of the 
southwestern face looked tempting, and 
our shining ice-wall at the foot of the 
rocks half a mile below us, dead under the 
overhang of the edge, did not. But Val- 
savaranche is a good day's tramp from 
Cogne, and our rucksacks had been left 
below. It was my last day in the district, 
for Henri Garny was to meet me at Cour- 
mayeur the following evening, and the 
petite voiture had been engaged. A tra- 
verse was plainly out of the question. 
There was only one thing to be done. 
We waited an hour or so to give the sun, 
now well on the rocks, time to thaw out 
the verglas, and, with a wholly unneces- 
sary admonition to caution from Pierre, 
lowered ourselves on to the face of the 

As long as possible we stuck to the 
same route. I had not been mistaken. 
The two corners were worse in descend- 
ing. It is still a mystery to me how I ever 
got round the last; and the glisten of the 
ice-wall at the foot kept catching my eye 
as I looked down. 

But the holds were no longer glazed, 
and all went merrily till we reached the 
last crossing of the great couloir. Pierre 
was just about to step on it, when a 
small schild-lawine broke away, starting 
apparently from our steps above. It was 
not very big, but quite unnecessarily so 
for sweeping us to annihilation or 
eternity. There was clearly a lot more 
to come from above; and come it did 
later on, with the grand roar that is so 
absurdly disproportioned to such a tame- 
looking thing as a snow-avalanche. 

No help for it. We must stick to the 
bad slabs of the right-hand rib all the 
way to the foot. Thank the stars, there 
was no more verglas. Only a trickle of 
water everywhere instead. Unpleasant, 
yes ; but what if it had still been ice ? 

With much relief we got down to our 
ice-ladder, and found the steps still sound. 

We hurried down them and started on the 
looked-for glissade. Alas, the sun had so 
softened the snow that it was hopeless, 
and we had to dig in our heels and 
sometimes our legs till the neve was 
reached. The bergschrund seems to be 
kept well filled with avalanches descend- 
ing from the couloirs. 

The neve was by this time soft and 
tiresome, and progress in the deep snow 
very tedious. We unroped on the coZ, 
took breath and another breakfast, and 
then lowered ourselves down the rocks 
with lightsome hearts, looking on all sides 
for bouquetins. We saw none, for it was 
probably too early for them to come from 
the heights to graze. We made one more 
attempt to glissade on the last slopes. 
General result, partial disappearance. 
Personal result, solid burial to the hips. 
I had to be dug out to the boots by the 
slow aid of the ice-axes. 

It was three o'clock when we got back 
to the cabane. Here we indulged in a 
square meal; that is, we ate up every- 
thing that was left. Apparently there was 
nothing left to drink. And then I had my 
first pipe that day. Smoker-climbers will 
understand without more words all that 
this statement conveys. Non-smokers do 
not deserve to know. 

A cordial welcome from guides and 
hotel people awaited us at Cogne. It 
appeared then that there had been some 
doubts entertained about the success of 
the expedition, and they were doubtless 
pleased to have the temporary condemna- 
tion of their chief attraction reversed. 
For La Grivola is the general object of 
the climber's ambition in the Eastern 
Graians. Her height, 13,022 feet above 
the level of the sea, is surpassed only by 
her consort, the Gran Paradiso. The 
singular beauty of her form is conspicu- 
ous from the summits of the most mag- 
nificent peaks in the Cottian, Graian, 
and Pennine groups. And her conquest, 
whether by rock-face or snow arete, af- 
fords the mountaineer a climb of the 
most interesting description. 



THE matron's letter had said that a 
carriage would be waiting at St. Alban's 
station. But at a glance, as she stepped 
from the train, Miss Whitman saw that 
it was not there. She stood for a moment 
in indecision on the platform, nervously 
gathering her soft black skirts about her, 
and hoping, in a sudden rush of shame 
that thrilled her all the more sharply for 
its very foolishness, that none of the few 
persons standing beneath the shed had 
recognized in her a new inmate for the 
Old Ladies' Home on the hill. The 
swift, cold drizzle of a snow-threatening 
rain penetrated her veil; she shivered, 
stepping uncertainly toward the station 

The waiting-room was empty she 
was glad of that. Only the blue-capped 
head of the station-agent peered at her 
for a moment, in glimpsing unconcern, 
through the little cage-like window of the 
ticket-office. She crossed the room, gasp- 
ing a little at the warm, fetid air, and 
took up her station, rigidly, before the far- 
thest window. Straight before her, dim 
through the rivuleted panes, stretched 
the long vista of the hill road. She fixed 
her eyes upon its horizon with strained 

Now that the hour of ordeal had 
come, she wished, fiercely, for the cul- 
minating moment and its swift passing. 
The culminating moment, she supposed, 
would be that in which she actually 
stepped across the institutional thresh- 
old, when the doors barring her from 
further intercourse with the world of 
affairs and men had closed in finality 
upon her. There shaped for her on the 
blurring panes a picture, a colorless 
vision. She could almost feel, in the 
throes of her present imaginings, the de- 
pressing, lifeless monotony of that aged 


atmosphere, made maddening by the 
pressure of the forbidding walls which 
helped produce it; already, it seemed, as 
she probed with restless intent into her 
future, the cold lengths of the public cor- 
ridors invited her endless tread; and 
everywhere in her half-morbid thought 
she searched among them bent nod- 
ding, gray-streaked heads, peered wrin- 
kled visages. 

The picture flung back at her tor- 
mentingly with grotesque detail. Her 
face stiffened. Her hands sought the 
hard edge of the windowsill and closed 
upon it tightly. Unknowingly and half- 
aloud she breathed her utter despair: 
" Dear God ! " The whisper, with its 
accompanying relief, brought a quick 
flush to her face. " What a simpleton I 
am ! and I so old! " She repeated the 
last phrase determinedly, trying to accus- 
tom herself to the new thought; for surely 
it had been but a few months before that 
she had held up her head with the rest, 
an independent wage-earner carrying her 
burden of work with capable hand and 
an eager heart. She marveled would 
she ever cease to marvel ! at the ab- 
ruptness of the transition. Providence, 
she reflected bitterly, in so turning up 
her calendar without warning, had dealt 
more severely with her than was her due. 

She turned toward the bench against 
the wall, half-startled from her reverie 
by the sudden, noisy entrance of a rug- 
ged-faced mother who, stepping heavily 
across the room, deposited her sleeping 
child, with quick adjustment, across the 
seats looking up with expectant ges- 
ture as she took her place beside it. But 
Miss Whitman drew in her skirts reserv- 
edly, turning her head away in nervous 
distaste as the other coughed tenta- 
t vely. 

The End of the Story 


" You you waitin' for the Old 
Ladies* Stage?" 

There was a certain quality of rough 
sympathy in the voice. Miss Whitman 
rebelled against her impulse to turn, to 
grasp the crumb of comfort. The other 
watched her pityingly, taking no offense 
at the stiff, uncompromising nod. " I've 
heard," she said, nodding her eager 
assurance, " I've heard as how they 
sometimes have mighty good dinners up 
there, an' some have rooms that are as 
pretty as a young girl's. Mis' Elihu Legg, 
my neighbor that was, was through the 
buildin' onst. She says they stare at you 
as though they never seen a human bein* 
before. An' some of them are dreadful 
gossips, an' some don't talk at all ; " 
she looked at Miss Whitman quizzically ; 

" but she says that the most of them 
are real nice and sociable, considerin'. 
Are you goin' in on relatives ? " 

" No." Miss Whitman writhed. 

The other sighed. " It's terrible with- 
out any kin o' one's own. On friends, I 
s'pose ? " 

" No." It was not a lie. She held her 
head stiffly erect. They were not friends 

those who had induced her to take 
the step, who had made it so honorably 
possible for her to end her days comfort- 
ably in this sheltered retreat; who, grasp- 
ing eagerly at this circumstance in her 
life, had taken it as a providential acci- 
dent whereby they might, with pious sat- 
isfaction to themselves, relieve their con- 
sciences of a certain delicately shaded 
social debt which they had owed her for 
long years since. Miss Whitman fought 
against a slowly-rising spectre of dutiful 
gratitude. Not friends, she began to 
draw a finely nice line of sharp distinc- 

" Not on friends! " The torturing voice 
trilled with large amazement. "Why, 
you don't mean to say " again the 
roughly sympathetic quality quite dom- 
inated " you don't mean to say that 
you ain't got no friends ? " 

" I believe that that's just it! " said 
Miss Whitman. This time she faced the 

other, her lips quiveringly parted into a 

" You poor thing you poor thing! " 
The phrase was softly muffled, and the 
woman sat quiet, pondering. Her hand 
wandered gently to the head of the sleep- 
ing child. She bent above it, crooning 
with clumsy tenderness. " Janey, you 
wake up! train's comin', dearie! " She 
stood before Miss Whitman in an em- 
barrassed, unwonted silence, but the lat- 
ter, to her own astonishment, held out 
her hand. " Good-by." 

" Good-by." The handshake was sin- 
cere and hearty. " An' I hope they treat 
you right! I hope you'll be real com- 

When she had gone, Miss Whitman sat 
facing a clarified interval. She no longer 
questioned why. She dispassionately em- 
braced the truth. For ah, to have no 
friends! Here was the keynote to her 
real agony of shame. Beside the staring 
fact of her own utter friendlessness, the 
dreaded institution reared up in parallel 
mockery a concrete symbol. She be- 
gan to wonder, to question and compare, 
looking back upon her life and its large 
cycle of activities in bitter realization of 
its emptiness. But she had always 
she weakly defended to herself been 
so exultantly occupied with her work. 

She recalled the many men and women 
she had met in the business world 
how skillful she had been in the daily 
competitive touch-and-go with them, or 
in reservedly holding herself aloof when 
the need had risen. Oh, she had been 
an excellent woman of affairs; excellent, 
she pondered keenly her employer had 
even condescended to " use " her beyond 
the usual age-limit (she had really " kept 
her age " well, she reflected). How tired 
she had been at night! seldom had 
she been able to use those brief spare 
hours for social intercourse with her fel- 
low beings. And at the end she re- 
called, with a shudder, her long, long ill- 
ness, her terror at her rapidly-dwindling 
'* rainy-day " fund. She wondered now 
at her impracticability in having made 


The End of the Story 

the fund so light. But again she 
feebly defended she had needed to 
live well, to keep constant to that always 
necessary " appearance." Besides, she 
had contributed largely to charities. And 
here she started clutching at the mem- 
ory; she had surely given thought, in 
the light of human kindliness, to her 
fellow beings, had attempted to bridge 
the gulf. But this pale memory, though 
she continued to dwell upon it for a 
moment in dim hope, still left her empty 
at heart. 

Greedily, as she sat on the station 
bench, she passed in mental review all 
the years of her life's story, searching 
for some gleam of happy social contact 
that would save her from her final con- 
demnation of herself, fast-stripping each 
experience till the final hollow day flung 
back upon her. Ah then, the lucid cause 
was in herself some curious aloofness, 
a lacking of some mysterious common 
quality which served to make men kin. 
She felt, of a sudden, as one detached, 
apart. She groped in terror 

The door opened noisily. Miss Whit- 
man faced it dumbly. A man in liveried 
uniform came toward her. 

" You'll need a light early to-night. 
I'm sorry your first day was so bad." 
The matron, who had superintended the 
bringing up of Miss Whitman's trunk, 
stood in the doorway, her capable, steady 
eyes inspecting keenly every detail of the 
new inmate's personality. " If there is 
anything you want," she continued, 
" anything you needy please let me 
know." She glanced around the little 
room in satisfied decision. " You ought 
to be comfortable here. I think that your 
trunk had better go in that other corner." 
She paused, considering, her skirts rus- 
tling stiffly as she turned to go. " You'll 
find the rules beside your door in the 

Miss Whitman stood, immovable and 
quiet, when the matron had gone, a 
strange, dragging sense, as of some heavy 
anchorage, holding her for the first few 

minutes incapable of action. But when 
the personnel of the little room began to 
intrude upon her, she looked up, her eyes 
meeting this object and that with ques- 
tioning intentness, scanning the homely 
appurtenances swiftly. The room was 
only saved from utter commonplaceness 
by two quaint dormer-windows which 
recessed cozily into the wall. " I'm glad 
they face the east. I shall see the rising 
sun." She framed the thought half in 
wonder; evidently old age was not to be 
without its few small pleasures of antici- 
pation. The windows looked out over 
a low, narrow valley, she discovered, the 
near horizon being the smoothly undulat- 
ing top of a bleak, brown-breasted hill. 

Halfway up the hill Miss Whitman 
absently followed the gray, ribbon-like 
path leading up to them was hud- 
dled a dense cluster of sturdy white cot- 
tages little homes. She let her eyes 
fall hungrily upon one red-lighted win- 
dow, striving to picture to herself the 
drawing close of the family ties at the 
approaching nightfall. There was going 
to be some comfort for her, she found, 
in this outlook from her windows. Even 
on this first day, rain-driving and dreary 
though it was, there was afforded her a 
glimpse into that outside world from 
which, she felt, she was already so utterly 
buried. The glimpse, at the first, would 
serve as a slowly-assuaging balm. As the 
hill grew dim beneath the fast-falling 
dark, Miss Whitman's mind, tired almost 
to the point of emptiness though it was, 
returned with sensitive dread to her pre- 
sent condition, and to the coming ordeal 
of the first meal. She remembered what 
the matron had said about an early light. 
And at the sudden, clear resonance of a 
gong in the corridor without, she began 
in a sort of guilty, half-childish haste to 
search upon the little table for a possible 
box of matches. When she stood at last 
in the bright glare of the gaslight, she 
laughed through her panting, at her fool- 
ishness. " Well I am old! They usu- 
ally get like that, I believe." 

She drew herself up, gasping bravely 

The End of the Story 


for composure, determining, at all costs, 
to hold to the last shreds of her previous 
dignity of independence. She was still 
standing motionless, an erect, slender 
figure with quiet eyes and half-smiling 
mouth, when her door, without prelim- 
inary knock, was suddenly flung open. 
An unabashed old woman, curiously at- 
tired in a heavily embroidered red waist, 
stood leaning on a crutch on the thresh- 
old, taking advantage of the other's star- 
tled silence to flash her greedily inquisi- 
tive eyes from corner to corner of the 
room. At the last, they fastened with 
gelid penetration upon Miss Whitman's 

" My! ain't you got your bonnet off 
yet ? You came an hour ago, did n't you ? 
Well " she hobbled across to the one 
easy-chair. " I'll wait for you. But you 
better hurry. She only allows me five 
minutes extry 'count o' the tardiness o' 
my crutch." 

"Is it the dinner-hour?" The 
dread again upon her, Miss Whitman 
fumbled clumsily at her hair. 

" Ain't you read the rules ? Did n't she 
tell you ? 'T is lucky I thought to stop 
in for you. I'm Mrs. William Sharp. I 
always stop in for the new ones if I like 
their looks. I saw you when you was 
comin' in. You from the city ? " 

Miss Whitman nodded, starting im- 
pulsively for the door. The other hobbled 
after. " You're kind o' young-lookin' to 
be here so soon. My sakes! but your 
back is straight! How'd you keep it? " 
Without waiting for an answer, she ram- 
bled on, the sharp tap-tap of her crutch 
making a clicking accompaniment to her 
voice. " No, not that way," she directed 
as they reached the foot of the stairs; 
" we have to turn here the dinin'- 
room's through that door. An' if I was 
you" she looked up, her eyes cunning- 
ly resentful "if I was you I would n't 
hold my head so stiff. It don't exactly 
take here. They'll talk." 

She held back the door for Miss Whit- 
man, and as they passed down the long 
room together, the buzz of talk at the 
VOL. 102 -NO. 1 

tables subsided into a tensely suspended 
hush. In spite of her aged conductor's 
warning, the newcomer felt, as she ran 
the gauntlet of eagerly peering eyes, that 
she was holding her head up " stiff." To 
her relief, however, the hush was broken 
again, and old heads bending once more 
over their plates, even before she had 
taken the seat assigned. 

" See that sparklin' old lady over 
there, the one that's always showin' 
off her hands ? She was once a prom'nent 
actress on the stage. They say her hands 
was great! " Miss Whitman glanced 
across the table to where a little old lady 
whose bright black eyes flashed vividly 
in her heavily wrinkled face was talking 
with vertiginous rapidity. Those around 
her, listening, were laughing and nodding 
in approval. " An' see that quiet one ? " 
Mrs. Sharp went on " the one with the 
ear-trumpet at her side? That's Mrs. 
; " the old voice whispered it ex- 
citedly. " You remember her ? It was 
all about her in the papers. She had 
six husbands and five divorces! They 
say ." Miss Whitman lost the rest, so 
absorbed had she become in placing in 
her mind's category of humanity this 
little world about her. 

It was, indeed a world of a timbre 
peculiar to itself, a world in which, 
she swiftly concluded, the paramount 
interests, evidently, were tea, pedigree, 
and the latest stitch in capelines, these 
making stable points of common interest 
about which played a constant inter- 
change of personal reminiscence and the 
lively, biting gossip of small daily occur- 
rences in the Home. Snatches of sen- 
tences here and there, from the general 
drift of conversation, came to her : 
" Did you hear what the matron found 
out this morning ? You did n't ? Old 
Mrs. Cassidy smokes in her room! Sh-h! 
Yes, a pipe ! Is n't it easy to trace some 
folks' origin ?" " That airish Miss 
White came down with a red bow in her 
cap this morning. Did you ever ? Some 
folks would n't know that they were in 
their dotage unless it was clubbed into 


The End of the Story 

them. Next thing you know, it'll be a 
red rose! Ha, ha, ha! a red rose! Why, 
even in my young days " 

Listening, watching, Miss Whitman's 
heart grew heavy with foreboding. To 
be plunged so swiftly into this ! She 
found herself presently, now reaching 
back again, wistfully, toward her busy, 
all-active life, now peering forward with 
fearful ease into the years ahead. Ah, it 
was such a simple chapter to read, that 
coming last one. Once again, she bitterly 
toyed with the pages, cowering beneath 
the prospect of her vast loneliness. For 
with these people, she felt, among whom 
the remaining years of her life were de- 
stined to be cast, the difficult adjustment 
of the measures of friendliness would 
require even more of a nicety than had 
been called for in the outside world. Ap- 
prehensively, in her tense quiet as spec- 
tator, she glanced from face to face; at 
the same time almost envying them, 
these fellow women, with all the small 
and everlasting weaknesses which bound 
them each to each in the leveling ca- 
maraderie of sheer femininity. 

" Look over there at the end ! " 
Mrs. Sharp's raucous voice and nudging 
elbow once again claimed her attention. 
" She's just come in! with the piles of 
snowy- white hair all her own, too ! 
That y s Mrs. Lucy Osborn, Lucy Sill that 
was ; an' ain't she the sweetest here ? 
Ain't she got the youngest eyes you ever 

Startled, even as she looked Miss 
Whitman turned away abruptly. The 
" young " eyes, deeply blue, interested 
and penetrating, had flashed in swift and 
friendly glance upon her own. Once 
again she felt her neighbor's elbow nudg- 
ing, this time impatiently. " Why, she 
smiled at you! " Mrs. Sharp looked up 
indignantly. "Well you're the first 
that never smiled back at Lucy Sill! " 

Miss Whitman flushed, stumbling forth 
her eager apology. " Ah, but she is sweet, 
gentle-faced. Tell me about her. You 
knew her before ? " 

" Yes. There ain't much story about 

her. It's just her herself makes up the 
story. I knew her in Lyndhaven when 
she was just a girl. My mother used to 
make her dresses. I used to carry them 
home to her." She looked across the 
table, smiling reminiscently. '* But you 
must n't think that she looked down on 
me. She treated me like a friend. She 
was she was why, Lucy Sill was the 
friendliest human bein' you'd want to 
meet. Ev'ry one liked her, loved her. 
An' that's what makes it so queer " 
Mrs. Sharp's wrinkled brows drew close 
in puzzled bewilderment "so queer 
that she's here, you know, an' that all 
those heaps o' friends have died, an' she 
the only one left an' here ! Why, when 
I found 't was her, just after she come, I 
could o' dropped my crutch an' stood, I 
was so surprised. Well, we never dream 
when we're young what's goin' to come 
to us when we get old. There, look at her 
now, talkin' to that Miss White. Look at 
her face, all interested. That way of hers 
was what took so with folks when she 
was a girl. She's never exactly lost it. 
She's got such wonderful manners! " 

With effort, Miss Whitman broke away 
from her absorbed contemplation of the 
face opposite. " And you say she was 
beautiful then ? " 

Mrs. Sharp shook her head with de- 
cision. "No not beautiful; but just 
like that herself; an' that same deli- 
cate lift to her head. She carried off the 
finest man in the county. Mr. Bob 
Osborn worshiped her. He died only a 
few years after they were married. I 
often wonder what he 'd think if 
he could come upon her here. (Sh-h ! am 
I talkin' loud?) See her eyes turn this 
way then all smilin' ? She caught his 
name." The old lady fumbled clumsily 
with her knife, ill-hiding her shame- 
facedness at being caught. " She knows 
I'm talkin' about her but nothin' 
mean. She knows I would n't. I can't 
get over her bein' here. I tell her so all 
the time. She laughs at me. Oh, she's 
Lucy Sill, even if she has white hair. If 
't was her sister Martha now who was 

The End of the Story 


here if she had lived " the old lady 
paused, her thin lips pressing together 
in one decisive white line; "well, I 
could 've understood her bein' here. I 
didn't like her. Not many folks did. 
She was all held-in, sort of, an' silent, 
stand-offish ; an' Lucy thought the world- 
an'-all of her. Some said that Martha 
thought the same o' Lucy, too; but if 
she did," she shrugged her shoulders 
unbelievingly, " she never showed it. 
Martha died in the middlin' twenties. 
An' Lucy's here! Now watch her, get- 
tin' up the way she holds herself. 
She's goin' to the sun-room. They're 
waitin' for her. She plays the piano for 
us every Wednesday night." 

Old Mrs. Sharp was hurriedly folding 
her napkin. Miss Whitman awkwardly 
handed her her crutch, and slowly fol- 
lowed after as the grotesque little old 
woman led the way. 

At the wide door of the sun-room where 
the lights fell warmly on huge green 
palms and nestling flower-boxes, Miss 
Whitman with shy adroitness stepped 
aside, seeking, on her usual impulse of 
reserve, the shadow in the passageway 
without. And when the little group had 
settled itself within, she watched it won- 
deringly, her eyes eagerly searching each 
withered face as the strains of music 
from the piano in the alcove vibrated 
softly through the room. She noted that 
one gray head, even at the first few notes, 
had already begun to nod. The others, 
sitting motionless, listened for the most 
part with spiritless, unresponding faces, 
the reverie of age, so different from 
the reverie of youth, enfolding them, 
apparently, in a dull, uncaring apathy 
in which Miss Whitman in difficulty 
decided was surely neither pleasure 
nor pain. But was this, in its innermost 
timbre, content? 

In a swift revulsion of feeling she 
turned away, her hands clenching pas- 
sionately in her sudden and overwhelm- 
ing desire to escape to be freed. When 
she reached the solitude of her dormer- 
room, she drew up a chair to the table, 

half-smiling, bitterly, in her self-com- 
miseration at the weakness of her trem- 
bling body. She wondered how long it 
was going to take, this difficult read- 
justment, and where, eventually, the last 
casting of the swinging balances would 
place her. She looked shrinkingly about 
the quiet room which seemed so mock- 
ingly conscious of her presence and her 
mood. For a long time she sat there, 
immovable and stiff, in the chair beside 
the table, her chin sunk rigidly on her 
palms, her mind set grimly on her nar- 
rowly-margined future ; from her past she 
was now learning to hold herself sternly 
aloof her almost utter lack of those 
memories which are the solace of age 
terrifying her when she tried, in glimps- 
ing hopelessness, to search for them. She 
grew more rigid in her reverie. 

She thought, at first, that it was the 
light rain driving softly against the win- 
dow that had roused her. Then, as she 
listened, tense in the silence, there came 
a gentle, imperative knock at the door. 
In her lonesomeness, Miss Whitman felt 
her heart leap intuitively : " It's that Mrs. 
Osborn Lucy Sill." But when, at her 
shortly ejaculated, half-rude invitation, 
the door swung softly open, and Mrs. 
Osborn's friendly eyes were full upon 
her, she sat reserved and unapproach- 
able, wordless before the other's pre- 

"I've invited myself to tea if you 
will have me." Hesitant at first, half- 
smiling, she interrogatively waited at the 
threshold ; and then, as though in tactful 
interpretation of the ensuing pause, she 
stepped across the room, and in delib- 
erative, unembarrassed grace made room 
on the little table for the tray she carried. 
" I've invited the tea and the lady cakes 
too ; they are old-lady cakes. Will you 
have me ? " 

She looked back over her shoulder with 
a quaint, bird-like motion, her keen, 
compelling eyes searching the other's face 

" If if you'll have me! " said Miss 
Whitman; in the unaccustomed atmo- 


The End of the Story 

sphere of intimate friendliness, she felt 
herself struggling for a footing. 

The other laughed aloud. " Oh, you 
are like her." Then, cautiously, " S-sh ! " 
she tiptoed back to the door again, 
like a mischievous girl breaking the rules 
at a boarding-school, and turned the key 
in the lock. " It is n't exactly allowed, 
here, you know this" she explained, 
as she took her place opposite Miss Whit- 
man. She leaned forward, scanning the 
other's features in swift, eager inspection. 
"Yes, you are like her " she nodded 
again, her wonderful crown of hair flash- 
ing beneath the light. " I mean that 
you are like my sister she died my 
sister Martha. I noticed it downstairs. 
Something about your eyes and mouth, 
and Oh ! that ' If you'll have me ' ! " 
She laughed again, holding her hearer 
breathless beneath her charm; " that was 
Martha, too, never certain of her own 
likableness. We were great friends, Mar- 
tha and I." 

She turned to the table, and Miss 
Whitman, fascinated, watched the deli- 
cate, finely- wrinkled hands, like master- 
pieces of rare old porcelain, as they 
manipulated the tray. 

" You take two lumps ? " She held 
the sugar-tongs poised. " Martha did," 
she coaxed convincingly. 

" Two." Miss Whitman smiled shyly 
in return, unconsciously drawing her 
chair up closer. 

" This is old Mrs. Jessup's favorite 
brand. Oh, don't be frightened. I am 
not going to repeat that long dissertation 
we heard at dinner." The corners of her 
mouth wrinkled humorously. Then she 
grew serious, her eyes dark with grave 
concern. " How do you like it here ? 
That, I know, is an unfair question on 
the first day. But how do you find it ? " 

"I find it hard." 

Mrs. Osborn mused upon the pause. 
" But later, you know," her voice fell 
softly low in gentle, persuasive sympathy, 
" it is n't so bad ; one gets used to it. 
And it's an excellent school for human 
tolerance. Indeed, after the last twinge 

of the final readjustment is over " she 
settled back comfortably in her chair, 
making a little gesture of contentment, 
serene in its implied resignation. *' Be- 
lieve me, life is sometimes very interest- 
ing here." Her face grew vivid. 

Miss Whitman watched her breath- 
lessly. " Oh, but you are different! You 
are wonderful ! " 

Mrs. Osborn shook her head. " No, 
I've merely a sort of knack at living 
along. It was my Robert taught me. 
And here the knack comes easily." 
She leaned forward, her finger-tips tap- 
ping slowly together in convincing enu- 
meration. "You know, in spring, out- 
doors it is delightful. Wild things all 
over the grounds. Down in the valley 
there it's one wild tangle-garden, 
violets and columbine, rock-pink and 
maidenhair," she paused, smiling 
" all sorts of gentle-growing things for 
slow old ladies. Besides, there is the 
live world squirrels, little red chip- 
munks, birds. And they all like us. Oh, 
they are most flattering, I assure you! " 

She went on. As one athirst, Miss 
Whitman listened, her city-pent spirit 
becoming slowly enthralled before the 
joy of the coming season, before the 
healthy good-cheerfulness of the other's 
philosophy of life. And Mrs. Osborn 
was not over-reminiscent. That, per- 
haps, her listener decided, was part- 
secret of her youthful-like vitality of 
spirit. And as she talked, dwelling upon 
this phase and that phase of her present 
life with humorous sympathy and kindly 
interpretation, enlarging, with every dis- 
closure, the perspective of the new- 
comer's outlook, Miss Whitman found 
herself presently looking forward with 
her, unconsciously framing an eager 
question now and then, or disclosing, in 
the sweet freedom of this new intimacy, 
somewhat of her own frail hopes and 

At the final pause, before the other's 
courteous, interrogative smile, she bent 
forward, her eyes intent and piteous 
upon her visitor's face. " Ah, if I could 

The End of the Story 


only with these people Mrs. Osborn, 
I've been all my life, in the midst of 
the crowd, so fearfully alone without 
any friend." She brought out her con- 
fession with awkward intonation, her 
sallow cheeks flushing. " Why, I did n't 
know people could be so nice! " She 
beamed with frank admiration upon her 

Mrs. Osborn laughed, pleased. " Well, 
it's merely that on your great high- 
way, you somehow missed the pleasant 
little by-paths. Some do." Then, as she 
rose to go, "But we've lots of faults, 
you know. Oh, you've a whole unex- 
plored country before you here. To- 
morrow " she looked about the bare 
walls of the room "I am coming in 
to help you 'fix up.' Your room needs 
homing ' somethin' awful,' as our friend, 
Mrs. Sharp, would say." 

Miss Whitman felt her cheeks tingling. 
"I did n't bring many of my things. 
I did n't seem to think It did n't seem 
any use. I have only a few books." 

"Ah, you kept your books!" The 
friendly eyes lighted, seeking the other's 
shyly in a new recognition. A flash of 
mutual comprehension passed between 
them. " Well, I shall come to-morrow 
to help you fix your books." 

She looked back, her head finely lifted, 
as in promise, from the doorway. But 
when at last she passed into the corridor 
without, there fell upon Miss Whitman a 
poignant, dream-like sense of unreality. 
Swiftly she opened the door, and peered 
into the dark hall, calling softly in a sud- 
den, unreasoning terror. But when the 
other stood once more before her, she 
reproved herself, in shame, for her fool- 

"I I Oh, I'm foolish," she feebly 

explained. "I wanted just to see you 
to make sure " 

Mrs. Osborn again held out her deli- 
cately assuring hands, pushing the other 
gently back into the room. " My dear 

why, you are all unstrung! You need 
rest. You need some one * magerful ' ' 

she laughed "to order you about. 
It isn't likely that I'll leave just yet. 
We'll maybe have long years together. 
Oh, my dear " She reached up her 
hands, placing them as in gentle bene- 
diction upon the other's shoulder. They 
looked into each other's life- tried eyes. 
Unconsciously, the knowledge of the dig- 
nity of their years caused their heads to 
lift to higher poise. A certain reverence 
fell upon them 

When Miss Whitman had turned out 
the light, she sat in quiet content by the 
window, smiling to herself in the dark, 
and watching, with musing absorption, 
the shadow-draperies shaping patterns to 
themselves upon the wall. There would 
be so much to talk about, to tell, to hear. 
" Why, I've never talked like that to a 
woman. I've never had a woman the 
real kind." 

The spell of Mrs. Osborn's youthful 
eyes was still upon her. Well, it had 
come late, this discovery of the need^of 
warm relationship, of kinship, with other 
human beings, but not for all her youth 
would she have given it up again. With 
mind alert, and on the strength of her 
first lesson, she began to read the' letters 
of the established bond, flashing forward 
swiftly and without terror to the last 
Great Hour. When that should come 
she breathed deeply, serene in her sure 
intuition she would not be alone. 
That comforted her. 



As far as eye can see there is nothing 
but a gray-green waste of turbulent wa- 
ters, rising and falling with a mountain- 
ous sweep, surging and roaring, hissing 
and crashing, bearing the flaky foam- 
crests high in air and dipping them 
thousands of feet beneath the surface. 
There is nothing to stop that gigantic 
ocean roll. No resisting continents have 
erected a formidable bulwark to its ad- 
vance; the sea goes on its way around 
the whole globe, for this is the most- 
dreaded stretch of ocean that the^mind 
of mariner knows. 

Over the northern horizon now out 
of sight, there lies a single hummock, 
cone-shaped, insignificant, not worthy a 
second glance. But this puny bit of 
land is Cape Horn, the last remnant of 
the mighty Andes, which, after rearing 
proud pinnacles to the tropic sky, sweep 
southward in an ever-diminishing chain 
until the last link dips under the sea. 
Still below the far horizon, but more to 
the west, a small clump of jagged rocks 
tear the turbulent swell to pieces; but the 
Diego Ramirez are not to be seen now 
there is nothing save the gray-hard sky 
and the gray-hard sea. Nothing, that 
is, save a stately albatross, scornfully 
ploughing its way into the very teeth of 
the gale that is rolling over lie world. 
It always blows a gale off Cape Horn; 
always is the sea torn into frothing anger; 
always, the storm-defying albatross soars 
betwixt sea and sky. 

Far to the north, only a speck of silver 
suddenly shown up by a wan gleam of. 
sun, which is so surprised at its existence 
that it instantly disappears, something 
shows then vanishes into nothingness. 
The hours glide by; the speck becomes 
a blur, the blur becomes reality. Speed- 
ing out of the stormy north, bearing 


steadfastly on to the stormier south, 
there comes a ship. Her long gaunt 
masts are swinging in a reeling quadrant; 
her vibrating hull cleaves the foamy 
waste like a thing of magnificent life. 
She lifts her roaring forefoot from the 
water, higher and higher, still higher, 
until the red keel is exposed to the very 
foremast; and then, crashing downwards 
in momentary homage to her master, the 
sea, she buries her bows from sight in a 
flurry of far-flung foam. 

Now she is here, here where the alba- 
tross soars on far-spread wing. But that 
bird of omen makes no sound; for the 
silence of a great solitude is upon him; 
he utters no welcome, makes no plaint. 

The ship still reels on, plunging deeply 
into the mountains and valleys, swinging 
her ponderous bulk through and above 
all tie waves that leap hungrily in her 
track, that rise in volume of might to 
drag her down, that retire beaten to rush 
on and on in a world-encompassing 
circle. Her spars are stripped almost 
bare; only two puny rags of straining 
canvas are flung to the gale, but the 
white cloud beneath her forefoot is as 
mighty as though she were clothed with 
glistening canvas from truck to scupper. 

The gale is at her stern, it is carrying 
her on to her allotted goal; nothing is 
needed for the skillful shipmaster to do, 
save let her run and keep his eye on those 
two sheets of dull brown sail-cloth that 
are spread aloft. But he must keep both 
eyes on them now, for there is a flurry in 
the gale. It no longer booms in a gigantic 
diapason; it screams and snorts, rising 
in a violent crescendo, flitting to and fro, 
now backing, now filling; until the dis- 
tracted ship is bewildered, and slews 
giddily round on her heel. 

Even the very sea conspires with the 

Round the Horn 


gale to drive the ship up to where those 
cruel fangs are lurking, in readiness for 
their prey. The stealthy Pacific-Antarc- 
tic Drift a baffling current runs 
here, and woe betide the man who once 
lets his ship get into the grip of that 
whirling stream! It were better that he 
should throw her high on one of those 
pitiless icebergs that steal silently by in 
a ghostly procession to the south, for 
then a chance might remain for dear life ; 
but no man strikes the Diego Ramirez 
and lives. 

Close on three thousand tons, four- 
masted, manned by Britons, the ship 
cleaves her way onwards and ever on. 
She has a precious freight beneath her 
closely-battened hatches; her skipper is 
one of the true-blue breed, a man who 
revels in storm, who flings his gauntlet 
in the very face of death, and laughs as 
the challenge goes forth. He is standing 
now on the spray-swept poop, a burly, 
white-bearded figure, swathed in oilskins 
to the eyes, his feet defying the cold and 
wet in their stout sea-boots. Standing 
by the binnacle, with one eye on the 
straining canvas, the other on the waver- 
ing compass-needle, he feels the change 
in the temper of the gale, and knows well 
that what has so far been his friend is 
developing into his hate-filled foe. 

The wind raises a' mighty comber 
high on the beam, and licks off the 
top as if it were but a drop of water. A 
hundred tons of solid ocean come swoop- 
ing over the vessel's decks, sluicing along 
with the roar of mighty thunder, carry- 
ing a mass of shattered debris to and fro, 
until the clanging wash-ports fling the 
unwelcome visitor back to the parent 
sea. Then the tautened canvas aloft 
quivers complainingly, the heavy chain- 
sheets rattle in their sheaves ; the massive 
topsail yards groan as the down-bearing 
tension is removed; but long before the 
sound has died away, the voice of the 
watchful captain is booming along the 
wave-washed decks, and one by one, 
figures clad in oilskin emerge from snug 
hiding-places, stagger perilously along 

the sloping planks, clutching at every 
chance rope and belaying-pin, until the 
entire crew is mustered at the break of 
the poop. 

" Hands wear ship ! " The breeze has 
flown to the northwest, dead in the teeth 
of the vessel, and she must either ratch 
off towards the ice-flecked seas of the 
Antarctic, or take her luck in her hands 
and endeavor to beat past the Diego 

Each man has his place, and knows it. 
Without undue confusion, yet slowly, for 
the men must walk as fate allows them, 
now staggering a few paces forward, 
now clutching frantically at a stanchion, 
while a stunning mass of living green 
pours pitilessly over the bulwarks, and 
descends on their shivering forms, insin- 
uating itself between clothing and skin, 
and rendering the stoutest water-proofs 
of no avail, somehow of other they 
get to their stations; numbed fingers 
cast loose the gaskets that hold the fore- 
topmast staysail in safe bondage; a 
couple of agile figures dart aloft up the 
quivering shrouds, and lay out on the 
great foreyard, casting off the ropes that 
have lashed the sail to the spar. 

The weather clew of the foresail drops 
down, and a hoarse-voiced chorus rings 
out as the sail is sheeted home. The cho- 
rus continues and the insignificant tri- 
angle of water-soaked canvas jumps up 
the foretopmast stay in a series of uneven 
jerks, sometimes stopping for whole min- 
utes; again, as the waves wash clear, 
climbing high on the stay, frapping thun- 
derously in the lashing breeze. All is now 
in readiness. There is enough canvas 
ahead of the ship to ensure her head pay- 
ing off before the wind, once the helm is 
jammed up, and the captain's voice rings 
along the deck: " Helm a- weather! " 

The second mate leads his watch to the 
main-braces, and slowly, very slowly, for 
there is a great weight of wind in the sail, 
the main-yards swing round, until the 
shivering sail is flat aback. There is no 
resistance now to the swinging bow; the 
ship circles round gallantly on her heel; 


Round the Horn 

a broad patch of smooth water to wind- 
ward shows where she has drifted down 
to leeward. Then, high to windward, 
looming black and awful like some fran- 
tic spirit of the unexplored ocean, a huge 
mountain of greenish-black sea, foam- 
crested and menacing, hangs poised in 
air. It rushes on with a lightning speed, 
growing in volume as it comes ; until the 
very sky is shut out by that dense threat- 
ening mass. 

" Up aloft, all of you, for your lives! " 
There was no need for the order. The 
men at the braces look once at the coming 
avalanche, then, with a nimbleness that 
is surprising, considering their ungainly 
appearance, they dart like squirrels into 
the rigging, and gain safety. They hang 
aloft breathless for a while, and the sea 
crashes over the rails, deluging the decks 
to the height of the topgallant rails; and 
the sore-stricken ship surges soddenly to 
the weight of another thousand tons of 
water. For as long as a man may count 
a dozen, she staggers under the furious 
blow, every bolt and rivet groaning its 
complaint; while the life-boats, swung 
high on then* davits, are whipped free 
from their guarding lashings, swing out 
at the ends of their tackles, then disap- 
pear to leeward in a whirl of foam. A 
clean sweep! Smoke and ashes come 
eddying from the galley, and the seamen 
realize regretfully that there will be no 
hot dinner for them that day. Some dar- 
ing spirit runs down to the deck, and 
wades arm-deep in the water to where 
the cook is lying half-stunned under a 
spare spar, surrounded by the imple- 
ments of his trade. Nothing movable has 
been left in the galley : food and pots, 
pans and tools, all are lying in a chaotic 
heap under three feet of sea-water. 

But for the moment the danger is past. 
A second wave rushes on to complete its 
fellow's work, but already the gallant 
ship has recovered from the blow. She 
dips her proud bow, and her stern climbs 
waveringly against the sky; then her 
prow heaves itself clear; the spidery bow- 
sprit soars aloft like a rocket; tons upon 

tons of water sweep over-side, and with a 
gloriously free action, like a racer recov- 
ering from a momentary stumble, the 
vessel reels on and on. 

The second wave expends its energy 
on her staunch steel side, and retires dis- 
comfited; but the blow on the quivering 
plates has been like the thrust of a batter- 
ing ram. 

The men slide down the backstays, or 
clamber down the ratlines, and stand 
once more on deck, the tangled braces 
in their hands. The two stalwart veter- 
ans at the wheel have been washed to the 
limits of their stout lashings, but they 
have regained their post; and the captain, 
drenched and breathless, is clinging like 
a limpet to the mizzen backstays. 

" Forrard, and get the foreyards 
round ! " his voice cleaves the moment- 
ary lull, and the men obey. The fore- 
yards are swung and pointed to the wind, 
the foresail is clewed up to the sound of 
that deep-throated chorus, the foretop- 
mast-staysail is lowered, and the ship, 
answering to the hastily-hoisted after- 
sail, which a couple of gasping appren- 
tices have loosed and flung to the breeze, 
comes slowly up into the eye of the wind. 
She is heading due north now, her bow 
pointing straight to Cape Horn, but her 
speed is diminished, and she merely 
crawls along. Her creamy wake stretches 
away to windward as she sags off be- 
fore the booming gale and the battering 
seas; she will lose many a one of those 
glorious knots that preceded the shift of 
wind, but for the moment the work is 
done, and nothing remains but to wait. 

"Steward! Splice the main-brace!" 
The bare-armed servitor of the cabin 
emerges on deck with the grog-bottle 
clutched to his breast, hi his hand a tin 
pannikin, and on his face a smile of 
greasy complacency. The men struggle 
to the poop, and take then* tots with the 
appreciation of men who have well 
earned their reward, wiping their mouths 
on the sleeves of their oilskins, touching 
their shaggy forelocks to the old skipper 
whose kindliness had prompted this re- 

Round the Horn 


cognition of their arduous work. Then 
they disappear into their hiding-places, 
and the ship lays herself down to the gale 
and snorts along through the boisterous 
sea with many complainings. 

Little is to be seen now, save that the 
serene albatross soars steadily around 
the mizzen truck, keeping its position 
without a single flutter of the mighty 
wings that can break a man's legs with 
one blow. The gale is only just begin- 
ning, for the moment it shows sign of 
abating the pessimistic albatross will be 
skimming the wave-crests, on the lookout 
for chance greasy morsels thrown over 
from the galley. A mob of chattering 
Cape pigeons, birds that have all the 
beauty of our own domesticated carriers, 
with the beaks and heads of gulls, flutter 
over the creamy wake, while a couple of 
Molly hawks (those birds which are, by 
seamen, supposed to contain the souls of 
dead skippers) wing their flight in the 
vessel's rear, croaking monotonously 
from time to time. 

The dense cloud-masses ahead part 
for a second to give a glimpse of hard, 
steel-blue sky. Out of that momentary 
breach a fresh burst of wind comes roar- 
ing over the sea. It springs upon the stag- 
gering ship like a beast of prey, and every 
spar vibrates to the sudden blow. Clew- 
lines, braces, downhauls; sheets, and 
spilling-lines, every one of the number- 
less ropes that clothe the gaunt masts, 
sings a song of defiance to the gale: the 
unsteady frap-frap of rope on wood has 
given place to a constant chatter the 
true voice of the storm. 

Wave follows wave in unbroken suc- 
cession over the bulwarks now; there 
is no inch of safety on all the vessel's 
decks. Clouds of biting spindrift whirl 
through the air, the ship heels over 
to the shock, over and over, until the 
heart rises into the throat, for fear 
that she will never right herself again. 
Still over she heels, and the men at the 
wheel are bracing themselves against the 
gratings, for the feet can find no hold on 
the sloping deck. The skipper is hanging 

by his arms from the weather rigging, 
trying to make his deep-sea voice carry 
to the mate's ear, but though that officer 
is hanging to the next shroud, he can 
hear no word, and only shakes his head 
in dumb show. But his eyes never leave 
the weather-sheet of the foretopsail, for 
with that terrific weight pressing the ship 
down, something must carry away. 

There is one tense, heart-stopping min- 
ute, and then, with a report like a can- 
non-shot, the foretopsail splits down its 
whole length. The rent widens, rags of 
canvas detach themselves and whip about 
frantically, until they are torn away and 
flutter off to leeward like tiny birds. The 
jerking of the fore-yard, with the bat- 
tering of the suddenly loosened canvas, 
is a serious menace to the safety of the 
ship. At any moment the spar may carry 
away and descend to the deck like a 
falling death; even if it fall overboard, 
the iron chains of the sheets will hold it 
alongside while the furious sea beats it 
resistlessly against the thin steel sides. 
And then a great chasm in the ship's 
skin, a sucking gurgle of escaping air, 
a downward plunge and another ves- 
sel posted as " missing " at Lloyd's. 

But this is not to be. The mate has 
already left his post, and is scrambling 
forward on hands and knees. Once 
more the crew emerge, look doubtfully 
aloft at the jumping yards, and then, 
tightening then* belts and cramming 
their sou'westers on their heads, com- 
mence to climb the shivering rigging. 
The wind pins them to the ratlines, the 
breath is driven from their bodies, they 
hang powerless, gripping with tenacious 
fingers, until their further progress is 
possible. After gigantic efforts they reach 
the yard, and scramble out on the foot- 
ropes, while the giddy dance of the ship 
recommences. The men spring up and 
down like monkeys, now lying flat on 
the yard, now clutching wildly at a slip- 
pery jackstay, until all are there. There 
is not much left to save, but they grapple 
the flapping shreds of the sail, and hold 
to them while the blood starts from their 


Round the Horn 

bruised finger- tips. The bitter cold has 
frozen the sail to the hardness of steel, 
their fingers can catch no grip, and when 
they do secure a hold and drag the sail 
on to the yard, a sudden gust snatches 
their hard- won prize from their clutch, 
and once again the sail roars out trium- 

They do it again, and again, and again, 
gasping strange oaths into the storm, 
leaning recklessly over the turbulent sea, 
working with both hands and hanging 
on by their eyebrows, and gradually, an 
inch at a time, the rebellious sail is won 
into safety, and the stout gaskets are 
passed over the quietened cloths. 

The ship feels the relief at once, and 
rises upright, only to plunge more deeply 
into the sea. There is little of her to be 
seen now save her denuded masts. Her 
decks are one mass of water, the ropes 
are lying in tangled masses in the scup- 
pers, a fowl-pen has become dislodged 
from its lashings and is hurtling to and 
fro along the decks, battering dreadfully 
at the bulwarks. This standing menace 
to the safety of the crew must be reduced 
to order, and the mate leads a forlorn 
hope to the rescue. It is precarious work, 
this, for the thing has become ungovern- 
able, and hurls back and forth like a 
Juggernaut, crushing fingers and toes 
remorselessly. After a wild, breathless 
struggle, the pen is secured in some mys- 
terious sailorly fashion, one or two men 
run aft to the steward to have their hurts 
attended to, and the inaction begins 

Night creeps down on the tumultuous 
sea, and the horrors of the storm are in- 
creased tenfold. Before, men could see 
the danger that hung over their heads; 
now they can only imagine it, and the 
imagination increases the peril to an 
indescribable extent. They must lie in 
shivering groups on the poop, ready for 
an instant emergency, unable to secure 
sleep or food, drenched and salt-sore, 
now starting into instant activity as a 
loud thunder breaks out from the furled 
foretopsail, now sinking back into shiv- 

ering lassitude as no order volleys to 
their ears from the wakeful man who 
clutches the binnacle, and gazes with 
unseeing eyes into the stormy night. 

At intervals a couple of men detach 
themselves from the groups, and struggle 
aft to the wheel, relieving the nigh-frozen 
men there, while those who have stood 
for two hours win a hazardous way 
along the decks to their forecastle, there 
to .snatch a smoke until some cry shall 
come to them, demanding their instant 
presence on the poop. 

The angry dawn leaps up out of the 
sky, and men stare at men's faces with 
dazed eyes. The white salt has caked 
on hair and beard, the young men of the 
past day have grown old and grizzled, 
their faces are deep-lined with anxiety; 
but there is no sign of drooping in that 
sturdy old figure by the wheel. 

The sea, terrible before, is doubly 
terrible now. During the night it has in- 
creased alarmingly; wave follows mount- 
tainous wave in unbroken rush, the ship 
throws herself about like a cork, now 
swooping into a watery cavern, now gid- 
dily topping a lofty wave, while men hold 
their breath in awe. 

Bang! The lee clew of the maintop- 
sail has carried away, and the sail is lash- 
ing about like a flail of death. But the 
canvas of this sail is strong and doubly 
strong; though it whips about with a 
noise of artillery, the sail does not split; 
only a length of chain is leaping in the 
air and threatening to brain any man 
who shall venture within its sweep. 

The work must be done, no matter 
what happens. The mate looks a ques- 
tion at the captain, the latter thinks for a 
moment. He dare not strip his ship of 
her canvas entirely : under bare poles she 
could do nothing save run down to the 
south among the spectral icebergs. There 
is one of them now under her quarter, 
looming like some fairy palace on the 

" Goose- wing it! " 

They do it somehow, though no 
man, on descending, can tell how the 

Round the Horn 


work was done. They have a vague 
memory of clambering up the ice-coated 
rigging, slipping down a foot and climb- 
ing up a yard, of dragging their toil-worn 
bodies out to the lee yard-arm, and there 
grappling blindly with the frapping sail, 
while that hurtling chain cracks and 
rattles above their heads. The loose cor- 
ner of the sail is dragged on the yard, 
stout ropes are lugged from the forepeak 
and passed round and round sail and 
yard; men haul on ropes that seem to 
lead nowhere, and curse, with tears, the 
adamantine hardness of the frozen cloths. 
But they do it for they are British sea- 
men. Within an hour the sail is quiet- 
ened, the lee clew fast on the yard, the 
weather clew still set. This is goosewing- 
ing and is only resorted to in moments 
of extreme stress, when it is impossible 
to attach another lashing to the clew that 
has carried away. 

But the wind is shifting to the south, 
and the ship drives soddenly due north. 
She cannot hold on long at this work, for 
the Diego Ramirez are there in her direct 
path. Something looms out of the storm- 
haze ahead, it takes shape, and resolves 
itself into a gallant clipper homeward 
bound. She is carrying a press of canvas 
that threatens to drive her under; she 
cuts through the waves like a thing of life ; 
her stately bow puts aside the encroach- 
ing waters as a parish beadle puts aside 
a crowd of inquisitive children. By her 
black low hull, built on the lines of a 
yacht, by her five masts and her yellow 
spars, her identity is disclosed at once. 
She is one of the German P. line of West 
Coast clippers, making a record run 
home. Men turn to one another and say 
that this ship has run from Valparaiso 
to the Lizard in fifty-seven days, beat- 
ing the majority of steamers on the run. 
They say her skipper receives a bonus 
for every day he takes off the run; and 
would receive instant dismissal should 
he exceed seventy days on his passage. 
Other men tell how the commanders 
of those ships have driven their panic- 
stricken crews to the braces at the muz- 

zles of leveled revolvers, daring them to 
refuse their duty. But a flag is flung to 
the gale from the onrushing clipper, and 
the red, white, and black ensign dips 
gayly thrice. It is the salute of one brave 
ship to another. 

Then the spindrift hides her, she blurs 
away into nothingness, and the struggling 
outward-bounder is alone. What is that 
sudden cry that comes from forward ? It 
blanches a dozen faces, and sends the 
suddenly-stilled heart into the throat. 
" Land on the lee beam! " There above 
the horizon, like a mouthful of venomous 
fangs waiting to crunch and grind their 
prey, the Diego Ramirez show moment- 
arily, then disappear. The inaction of 
the ship gives place to sudden life. There 
is a ceaseless stream of hard-voiced 
orders ; the programme of the day before 
is followed, and the ship wears round 
on her heel. It is terribly dangerous work 
now, for every rushing wave threatens 
to envelop the ship, and drive her to her 
doom; the captain begins to talk of rig- 
ging sea-anchors in order that the ves- 
sel's head might be wrenched round off 
the shore, but by dint of skillful manoeu- 
vring the work is once more done, and 
the ship lurches drunkenly away to the 
south, leaving the rocks behind. 

So it goes on, sometimes for days and 
weeks on end. Now an iceberg passes 
within a musket-shot, making men shiver 
at the thought of running headlong upon 
the ice-island in the dark of night; 
now a five-masted French clipper swings 
along, loaded to the scuppers, and keep- 
ing afloat by Heaven knows what means. 
But the gale dies away into fitful moan- 
ings, it veers to the south, one by one the 
ice-incrusted sails are loosed from their 
gaskets, and fall grotesquely down, while 
the toil-worn seamen drag the sheets out 
with hands that seem dead to pain. Tier 
on tier the canvas rises into glorious 
pyramids, every sail sings a booming 
triumphant song of dangers overcome, 
and with a fair wind and plenty of it, the 
good ship cleaves her way into the quieter 
waters of the Pacific Ocean. 



or centuries, or years ago 
We two were man and woman, thou and I, 
On yon dear earth now swinging far below 
The star-mists floating by. 

But now we are two spirits, in the wide 

Mysterious realm whereof all mortals dream; 
The unknown country where the dead abide 
Beyond the sunset gleam. 

And I I cannot find thee anywhere! 

I roam from star to star in search of thee; 
I wander through the boundless fields of air, 
And by the crystal sea. 

I scan all faces and I question all; 

I breathe thy name to every wind that blows; 
Through the wide silences I call and call 
But still the silence grows. 

Dost thou remember how, one midnight drear, 

We sat before a fading fire alone, 
Dreaming young dreams the while the wan old year 
Reeled from his trembling throne? 

And thou didst whisper, " Dear, from farthest skies, 

From utmost space, my love shall summon thee 
Though the grave-mould lie darkly on thine eyes, 
To keep this tryst with me! " 

Was it last year? O Love, I do not know! 

The high gods count not time. We are as they. 
All silently the tides of being flow; 
A year is as a day! 

I only know I cannot find thee, dear! 

This mighty universe is all too wide; 
Where art thou? In what far-removed sphere 
Is thought of me denied? 

Confessions of a Railroad Signalman 

New lives, new loves, new knowledge, and new laws! 

I still remember. Does thy soul forget? 
Heart unto heart if love no longer draws, 
Then the last seal is set! 





AT the present day, public attention 
is being constantly aroused and focused 
upon all questions that immediately con- 
cern the general welfare of the people. 
In this way the efficiency of the service 
on American railroads has, of late, been 
freely discussed, not only by railroad men, 
but by thoughtful people in all the walks 
of life. The reason for this universal in- 
terest is to be found in the fact that an 
inquiry into an ordinary preventable rail- 
road accident entails, at the same time, 
a study of the actual working conditions 
that exist in America between the rights 
and interests of the workingman, and the 
more important rights and interests of 
the general public. Of course, figures and 
tables in regard to efficiency of service 
cannot always be taken at their face 
value, and yet the conclusions that one is 
sometimes compelled to draw from them 
are altogether too significant to be light- 
ly dismissed from the public mind. 

For example, in the year 1906, a total 
of 1,200,000,000 passengers was carried 
on British railroads on 27,000 miles of 
track, against 800,000,000 passengers 
carried on American railroads on a mile- 
age of 200,000. Generally speaking, col- 
lisions and derailments form quite a 
reliable standard from which to make 
comparisons in regard to efficiency of 
service. It must also be remembered 
that the chances for accidents are nat- 
urally increased with increase of traffic 

and consequent multiplication of train 
movements. One might reasonably ex- 
pect, therefore, to find the density of con- 
ditions in Great Britain reflected in a 
startling list of fatalities, as compared 
with the United States. Yet if we take 
the year 1906 to illustrate our theories 
and anticipated conclusions, we find that 
there were 13,455 collisions and derail- 
ments in this country, and only 239 in 
Great Britain. In the same year 146 
passengers were killed and 6000 injured 
in the United States, against 58 passen- 
gers killed and 631 injured in Great 
Britain. The number of employees killed 
and injured in train accidents was re- 
spectively 13 and 140 in Great Britain, 
against 879 and 7483 in this country. 

It is not surprising, therefore, that 
figures and returns like the above, re- 
peated from year to year with the same 
marked, and, indeed, ever increasing 
disparity, should give rise to widespread 
discussion and criticism, consequently 
leading up to a better understanding of 
the nature of the problem that is now 
submitted, with all necessary facts and 
illustrations, practically for the first time, 
to the American people. For it must be 
understood, to begin with, that from its 
very nature and from the circumstances 
connected with the safety problem, the 
intervention of public opinion and of 
some kind of public action is impera- 
tively called for. Numerous difficulties, 


Confessions of a Railroad Signalman 

mistakes, and inconsistencies relating to 
the handling of trains, to the conduct 
of employees, and to the present status 
of the railroad manager, have been ex- 
posed and explained during the course 
of these confessions. But after all, these 
are merely side issues and details of the 
service; the real heart of the situation, 
as insisted upon from first to last in these 
articles, is significantly outlined in a 
recent issue of the Engineering Maga- 
zine, as follows : 

" Even more serious as a predisposing 
cause of railroad accidents, is the lament- 
able lack of discipline which is becoming 
increasingly manifest in these days of 
labor-union interference. This has been 
carried to such a point that the officials 
of our railroads have no longer that direct 
control of the employees which is abso- 
lutely essential to the maintenance of 
discipline. Until this condition has been 
changed it is hopeless to look for any 
material reduction in the number of 
killed and injured on our railroads." 

Such, then, being the truthful and logi- 
cal diagnosis of the situation, the final 
and most important question of all re- 
mains to be considered. From individu- 
als in no way connected with railroad 
life, as well as from employees and man- 
agers in different sections of the country, 
the general interest in the matter has 
been expressed in the following inquiries : 
" What are you now going to do about 
it? Granting this and granting that, 
what is your plan of construction or re- 
construction ? What can you propose as 
a practical method of reform ? " 

After a careful review and considera- 
tion of the conditions that obtain on 
American railroads at the present day, 
these significant and final questions, in 
the opinion of the writer, must all be 
answered in terms of external authority. 
It is really too bad to have to come to the 
conclusion that no reform can be ex- 
pected, or indeed is possible, from within. 
The men, the organizations, and the man- 
agements must now be called upon to 
submit to publicity and to correction, to 

be administered by the stern arm of the 
law. A proper adjustment of the interests 
of the men and the management, with a 
view to the safety of travel is, under pre- 
sent conditions, absolutely impossible. 

Ample opportunity and time have been 
Afforded these parties to solve the safety 
problem between themselves, without 
outside interference. ,The Canadian gov- 
ernment has already come to the con- 
clusion that it is useless to wait any 
longer, and accordingly it has taken 
measures to safeguard the rights of the 
traveling public. In like manner, just as 
soon as the government of the United 
States arrives at the same conclusion and 
sees fit to designate carelessness on a rail- 
road as a crime, punishable in the same 
way as carelessness in driving horses or 
automobiles on a crowded thoroughfare, 
a revolution will take place in the service 
on American railroads. When the man- 
agement and the men are called upon to 
face public examination and public crit- 
icism, there will be no more hair-split- 
ting in the interpretation and adminis- 
tration of discipline. The men and the 
management will then very quickly re- 
cognize the necessity of adjusting their 
differences and combining their forces in 
the interests of the public. In a word, 
authority will become supreme, and it 
will not take long for it to assert itself 
in terms of effectual discipline. Such, 
according to my view of it, is the only 
possible solution of the safety problem 
on American railroads. 

AH other topics and questions, although 
closely related to the problem, are hi 
reality merely matters of detail. For ex- 
ample, the lack of adequate supervision 
means, of course, unchecked negligence 
and points the way to no end of trouble; 
and yet the most comprehensive sys- 
tem of supervision imaginable would be 
of little use, unsupported by a reason- 
able and effective system of discipline. 
While, therefore, my opinion as to the 
immediate necessity for the intervention 
of the national government holds good, 
a general description of the American 

Confessions of a Railroad Signalman 


method of discipline, upon which the 
efficiency of the service is, in the mean 
time, absolutely dependent, should nev- 
ertheless prove interesting to all classes 
of readers. 

To a great extent, a system of disci- 
pline represents a state of mind, the ideals 
of an individual or of a community, and 
sometimes, under certain special condi- 
tions, an economical habit or business ne- 
cessity. In the old countries of Europe, 
where the public interests smother indi- 
vidual rights as well as the schedules of 
labor organizations, the railroads have 
taken for their motto, " He that sinneth 
shall die." Cassio, faithful and true, with 
an honorable and spotless record in the 
public service, falls from grace in an un- 
guarded moment, and is sorrowfully yet 
absolutely doomed to dismissal by the 
high-minded Othello. "Never more be 
officer of mine." Such in spirit, and, to 
a great extent, in actual railroad life, is 
the European interpretation of disci- 
pline. The European officials work upon 
the plan and with the unswerving deter- 
mination to protect the traveling public 
at all costs. The record of accidents on 
their railroads leaves little doubt as to the 
correctness of their methods of railroad- 
ing. On the other hand, in the United 
States, the railroad manager, backed to a 
certain extent by public opinion, says to 
an offending employee, " Your sin has 
enlightened and purified you, go back 
to your job." This is the mental method 
of discipline. A man is called upon to 
think, without at the same time being 
called upon to feel. 

On a railroad nowadays, when a 
" green " man makes a mistake, he is 
quietly informed by his superintendent 
that five or ten demerit marks have been 
placed against his name on the record 
book. The shock he receives on the com- 
mission of his first mistake is not very 
striking. He has perhaps been called 
upon to think, but in order to give his 
thoughts pungency and direction, he 
should also have been called upon to feel. 
Good habits are induced by feeling plus 

thought much more surely and expedi- 
tiously than by thought alone. Feeling 
plus thought is the scientific route. Some 
day, perhaps, thought alone will prove 
sufficient, but a railroad is no place to 
experiment with Utopian possibilities. 
What is necessary is the best and quick- 
est way to originate good habits. The 
whole nervous system in man is first 
organized by habit. The feeling plus 
thought method of discipline is humane 
as well as scientific, and is the most po- 
tent instigator and prompter of habit. 

According to Webster, discipline is 
" subjection to severe and systematic 
training." In the American method of 
discipline on railroads, there is no sys- 
tematic training of any kind; sensation 
or feeling plays no part in it, and thought 
is left to take care of itself. 

Theoretically, the mental process has 
a good deal to be said in its favor, but 
in actual operation the system has proved 
to be disastrous, and the records on Amer- 
ican railroads illustrate only too elo- 
quently the fallacy of the principle, under 
any conditions, where human lives are 
at stake. It is simply a question between 
the ethics and philosophy of Portia, and 
the blind impartiality of Othello as ap- 
plied to the railroad business. In social 
affairs and in relation to conduct between 
individuals, the standards of Portia are 
gracious and commendable; but on a 
battleship, in the army, and just as surely 
on a railroad, the services of the rugged 
Othello will be found at all times to be 
the most effectual. In the United States, 
however, there is a certain altruistic sen- 
timent that would fain submerge the 
ethics and principles of the old-time dis- 
ciplinarian. Not only does this criticism 
apply to affairs on a railroad, but our 
educational methods, in every direction, 
seem to be threatened with the same peril. 
On all sides there now appears to be 
a disinclination to use authority. There 
seems to be something in the nature of 
a national kick against constraint or 
discipline of any kind. The ideals and 
rugged characteristics of American man- 

Confessions of a Railroad Signalman 

hood, both on railroads and in our 
schools, are threatened with the coddling 

Within the last ten or fifteen years, 
many railroads have changed or modi- 
fied their system of discipline, as a trib- 
ute, in part, to this popular sentiment. 
Perhaps in making these changes the 
managers did the best they could under 
the circumstances. They found them- 
selves fast losing the backing and author- 
ity necessary to enforce the old system, 
and the new method was at least a work- 
ing arrangement with harmony for its 

A great majority of the railroads of 
the United States are now using some 
sort of a merit system in the administra- 
tion of discipline. Most of these methods 
are adaptations of the Brown system, 
which was invented by Mr. G. R. Brown, 
at one time vice-president of the Penn- 
sylvania. Brown figured it out for him- 
self, while he was taking all the steps 
from trainman up, on the Fall Brook 
Railroad ; and when he got to be general 
manager he put it in on his road. The 
system, as modified by most of the roads, 
is a sort of bookkeeping, with debits and 
credits in the shape of marks, to the ac- 
count of each man. Generally speaking, 
a perfect record for any term of years 
may not be entered as a credit item in the 
book, although conspicuous instances of 
heroism or devotion to duty are some- 
times noted. But a perfect record for a 
certain period will wipe out previous 
debits. An employee has access to his 
record book at any time, otherwise the 
record is kept in absolute secrecy. On 
some roads " rolls of honor " are kept 
and published, usually in the railroad 
magazines. The names of the men, to- 
gether with an account of the meritori- 
ous action, receive special mention. But 
on the other hand, there is no mention, 
either of names or particulars, in regard 
to the debits when employees make mis- 

Railroad managers appear to be satis- 
fied with this Brown system of discipline, 

and the statement has repeatedly ap- 
peared in the public prints that the adop- 
tion of these rules has resulted in better 
service to the companies. So far as the 
safety of travel and the general efficiency 
of the service are concerned, the figures 
and reports issued periodically by the 
Interstate Commerce Commission are 
calculated to convey a very different 
impression. Railroad officials inform us 
that the Brown system is an attempt to 
promote good feeling between the men 
and the management. This is doubtless 
true, but the statement lets the cat out 
of the bag. The employee appreciates 
the fact that the sting is extracted from 
a reprimand when it is administered in 
secret. Doubtless, if the sole aim has 
been to secure harmonious relations be- 
tween men and management, little fault 
can be found with the Brown system, 
but it appears in a somewhat different 
light when we study it in relation to the 
safety problem. 

For example, a man makes a serious 
mistake, without actual injury to persons 
or damage to property. He is punished 
to the extent of ten demerit marks. In 
the course of a few months five or six 
other men commit the same mistake. In 
every instance a secret record of the mis- 
take has been kept. When a mistake re- 
mains unchecked, sooner or later it ar- 
rives at the epidemic stage and reaches 
its climax in a wreck, and then finally a 
man is discharged for it. The demerit 
marks have had no corrective or pre- 
ventive effect whatever. Under this sys- 
tem the trouble is allowed to evolve in a 
natural way, from a simple case of un- 
checked negligence into a disaster in 
which, perhaps, a community is called 
upon to suffer. 

On the other hand, a system that takes 
publicity and the pocketbook for its 
principal factors enlists every corrective 
element in its favor. You cannot sepa- 
rate suspension and loss of pay from 
publicity, to a certain degree. In all sys- 
tems of punishment or correction, in a 
police court or elsewhere, there are usu- 

Confessions of a Railroad Signalman 


ally two or three elements that are de- 
pended upon to bring about beneficial 
results. These factors are the shame that 
is attached to the publication of names, 
the pecuniary loss in the shape of a fine, 
and the danger of imprisonment. The 
Brown system has abolished publicity 
and done away with pecuniary loss. The 
employee is now aware that no one can 
touch his pocketbook, no one can wound 
his pride, or hold him up as an example 
to his fellows. Of course it is too bad that 
a railroad man should be called upon to 
take his discipline home with him, that 
his wife and children should have to share 
the shame and the penalty; and yet the 
decisions of courts and of human tribu- 
nals everywhere are all subject to the 
same criticism. 

The Brown system, in a modified 
form, is to-day the American method, 
and while its supposed primary object 
may be to increase efficiency, its actual 
working is all in the interests of harmony 
between the men and management. The 
proof of the efficiency of any system of 
discipline is to be found in the freedom 
from accidents of all sorts. Within the 
last few months, I have heard railroad 
managers who heartily approve of the 
Brown system, deplore in the same 
breath the alarming increase of acci- 
dents. One of these gentlemen went so 
far as to inform me that it is the only 
possible system, so long as the men and 
the political influence of the organiza- 
tions are allowed to control the situation. 

The men very much prefer to take 
punishment on the installment plan, in 
the dark, to any settlement on a cash 
basis in open and above-board fashion. 
Discipline in the dark, on the install- 
ment plan, has all the facts, experience, 
and records of the past and present, and 
the probabilities of the future, arrayed 
against it. When you ask the manager 
how it happens that the United States 
does not recognize the efficacy of the 
mental method on the installment plan, 
and treat him as the Brown system 
treats the employees, he merely shrugs 
VOL. 102-NO.l 

his shoulders. When an infraction of the 
" safety-appliance law " or the " nine- 
hour law " is brought home to a man- 
ager, the action of the government or the 
law recognizing the superior efficacy of 
the mental treatment might reasonably 
be expected to say to him, " I give you 
ten demerit marks. Your mistake has 
enlightened and purified you; go back 
to your desk." A manager is surely as 
susceptible to mental influence and sug- 
gestion as an engineman or a conductor. 
Yet there is not a suspicion of the Brown 
system of discipline in the actual fines 
and imprisonment which the government 
has agreed upon as the best and quickest 
way to enforce obedience in the interests 
of the public welfare. 

The general introduction of the Brown 
system on American railroads has been 
brought about by the " irritation " of the 
men when their pay or their time has 
been interfered with. This was, in gen- 
eral, the power that gave the impetus and 
encouragement to the movement. 

The exact amount of " irritation " in 
loss of money to employees for one 
month has been figured out by one rail- 
road, as follows : 


Discharged 4 Merits 

Demerits 455 Amount saved 

to the men $1706 


Discharged 2 Merits 10 

Demerits 1265 Amount saved $263 


Discharged 4 Merits 10 

Demerits 485 Amount saved $1523 


Discharged . 10 Merits 

Demerits 310 Amount saved $514 


Discharged 21 Merits 

Demerits 696 Amount saved $1553 

That is to say, a certain number of 
men hadjbeen awarded " demerits " for 
offences instead of suspension with loss 
of pay, which in one month would have 
amounted to $5559. Of course, most of 


Confessions of a Railroad Signalman 

this amount would have been earned 
by spare men, but this consideration by 
no means allays the " irritation " of the 
regular men. 

Multiply this irritation by the number 
of railroads in the United States, and the 
Brown system of discipline is accounted 
for. From the safety point of view, the 
greater the " irritation " the more evi- 
dent becomes the necessity for some sys- 
tem calculated to control and put a stop 
to the negligence that produces the irrita- 
tion. The Brown system very effectively 
allays this irritation at the expense of the 
public safety, by treating the negligence 
as a matter of secondary importance. 

But although the Brown system and 
its modifications may reasonably be 
termed the American method, neverthe- 
less here and there one comes across an 
instance of an American railroad that 
has discarded it and adopted a radically 
different method, with exceedingly satis- 
factory results. One of the roads that has 
broken away from the Brown system is 
the Chicago & Alton. 

A few months ago, while in Blooming- 
ton, Illinois, the writer paid a visit to 
what is termed "The C. & A. Stereop- 
ticon Car." So far as I am aware there 
are only two or three of these cars on 
American railroads. The car is, in fact, 
a training school and lecture hall for the 
benefit of the employees. Mr. Perdue, 
the man in charge, is a veteran employee 
of over thirty years' experience, extending 
over practically every department of rail- 
road life. In order to enter the service of 
the Chicago & Alton, every man has to 
pass through this car and take the neces- 
sary examinations. In this way Mr. 
Perdue has become personally acquaint- 
ed with practically every man in the 
operating department of the Chicago & 
Alton. He knows the weak men and the 
strong men, and his watchful eye is over 
them all. He has the necessary author- 
ity to call any man into the car for reex- 
amination, and to withhold him from 
duty if necessary, in the interests of the 

Mr. Perdue kindly allowed me to re- 
main in the car while he was conducting 
the exercises. There were some twenty 
or thirty railroad men seated before him. 
The lecturer held in his hand a small 
bundle of papers. They were the record 
of the disciplines for the month. Some 
of the wrong-doers had been called into 
the car to listen to a description and an 
analysis of their mistakes. Mr. Perdue 
is very kindly, yet forceful, both in man- 
ner and speech. He talks vigorously to 
the men in their own everyday language. 
He takes one accident after another, and 
by the actual representation of it on his 
screen, he demonstrates just how it hap- 
pened and how to avoid it for the future. 
He then tells a certain man to stand up, 
and questions him closely as to what he 
would do under such and such circum- 
stances. Finally, he turns to his screen 
and shows his audience how to smash 
a carload of household goods by rough 
handling and by giving careless motions, 
and on the other hand, how to be loyal 
to the road and at the same time true to 
themselves by rendering careful and ef- 
ficient service. 

Altogether Mr. Perdue's work and 
story are so interesting that I am tempt- 
ed to give a part in his own words : 

" I have kept a record of the men 
handled during the past two or three 
years. I promoted 148 brakemen to be 
conductors, 264 firemen to be engineers, 
and instructed in all 3839 men. Practi- 
cally all the men passed, because if they 
failed to begin with, they kept coming 
to me until I had educated them up to 
my standard. I believe the Chicago & 
Alton has the finest and most loyal body 
of employees on any railroad in the 
United States. I may be accused of 
blowing my own trumpet, but I honestly 
believe it is nearly all due to my method 
of training and discipline. By the way, 
this method is copyrighted by President 
Murphy of the Cincinnati Southern Rail- 
road. Of course the method is one thing, 
and the man who handles the method is 
another, and a most important consider- 

Confessions of a Railroad Signalman 


ation. That is why I point with pride to 
my record with the boys on the Chicago 
& Alton. I want them to get the credit 
for it, for without their cooperation my 
work would be thrown away. To begin 
with, I make a point of getting the men 
interested, not only in their own records, 
but in the records and reputation of the 
Chicago & Alton. I tell you one thing, 
and that is, you cannot, with impunity, 
malign or abuse the Chicago & Alton 
Railroad in the hearing of one of my 

"Then again, I have no favorites. I 
make it a point to work with absolute 
impartiality and uniformity. Every man 
knows he must stand or fall on his own 
merits, that is, on his record as a flagman, 
a fireman, or an engineer; and when he 
gets into trouble, his character as a man 
is taken into account. Please don't lose 
sight of the fact that I made these Chi- 
cago & Alton boys. I made good men 
out of them because I aroused an interest 
in every man. We are all proud to be 
able to say that we work for the Chicago 
& Alton, and we point to our road as the 
best, safest, and most comfortable in the 
country to-day. To give you an idea of 
our splendid service, you should take 
a ride on our * Red Train,' on ' The 
Prairie Express ' or ' The Hummer.' 

" In 1904, during the World's Fair at 
St. Louis, we carried thousands more 
passengers than any other road, and we 
neither killed nor injured a single pas- 
senger. I spent two-thirds of my time 
riding round with the boys during the 
Fair season. We heard of numerous 
accidents happening on other roads, and 
one thing leading to another, the word 
was finally passed around, ' Boys, not 
a scratch to a passenger on the Chicago 
& Alton.' And we lived up to our motto, 
I can tell you. This kind of work is part 
of my method. It is a system of personal 
effort and personal direction, and I can 
tell you it pays. If you don't think so, 
just take a look at the accident records 
of the other roads during the same 

" In regard to discipline, I don't be- 
lieve in being too severe. It's what you 
hold up your sleeve and have the power 
to use periodically, that counts. Yet we 
are severe enough on the Chicago & 
Alton. No merit or demerit marks for 
us. For minor offenses, from five to ten 
days' lay-off, with loss of pay. For ne- 
glecting to have your watch inspected, 
we give as many as fifteen days' lay-off, 
and once in a great while, the penalty for 
serious offenses goes up to thirty days. 
But discipline to any great extent is un- 
called for. When a man has been through 
my car, he may need it once, but very 
seldom a second time. If you will com- 
pare the number of preventable accidents 
on the Chicago & Alton during the years 
1897, 1898, and 1899 with any year or 
period since I took charge of this system 
in 1900, you will get a very good idea of 
what the 'Stereopticon Car' and all that 
it stands for has done for the Chicago 
& Alton Railroad." 

But now, making an end in this way 
of our survey of conditions on American 
railroads, there is yet one topic of another 
nature that should prove unusually in- 
teresting to the general public. 

To the writer of these articles it has 
always seemed strange that the public in- 
terest and anxiety in regard to these dis- 
tressing railroad accidents should never 
yet have taken the form of a very nat- 
ural curiosity to find out to what extent 
and by whom these matters have been 
systematically studied and thought out. 
Doubtless the public has the impression 
that its interests are being cared for some- 
how by somebody. But impressions of 
this kind must not be mistaken for evi- 
dence. What, for instance, are the names 
of the employees, the managers, the poli- 
ticians, or the legislators who have studied 
these railroad accidents at close range and 
given the public the benefit of their in- 
vestigations ? If these authorities have 
given little time and no thought to the 
subject, the public should be informed 
why they have avoided the discussion. 
As a matter of fact, the investigation has 


Confessions of a Railroad Signalman 

been avoided, practically by all hands, 
for the reason that no man can honestly 
apply any kind of a probe to a serious 
railroad accident, without running the 
risk of a clash with the labor organiza- 
tions. No such neglect, for this or other 
reasons, of a great public issue can be 
pointed to in any other department of 
American industry or civilization. 

For instance, from time to time we 
read in the public prints of prizes being 
offered by cities and states, and some- 
times by the national government, for the 
best designs for some public building or 
memorial. Without delay architects and 
artists all over the country concentrate 
then* minds on the subject. Those who 
are capable of submitting valuable opin- 
ions and plans are invited and encouraged 
to do so. Money and brains and pro- 
fessional pride are enlisted in the under- 
taking, and thus we actually secure the 
best results that the concentrated thought 
and talent of the profession is capable 
oi producing. 

Now it will certainly occur to most of 
us that it is quite as serious and import- 
ant an undertaking to try to save thou- 
sands of lives on the railroads as it 
is to provide commodious and artistic 
public buildings. Upon examination at 
close range, however, it soon becomes 
evident that no concentration of thought 
whatever is being directed to this safety 
problem, such as all other questions of 
national importance immediately bring 
into play. If this point is well taken, it 
surely must result in bringing to light a 
most unusual and almost incomprehens- 
ible state of affairs. From my point of 
view, then, neither money, brains, nor 
professional pride are in any way enlisted 
in the undertaking, except along the lines 
of least resistance. The lines of least re- 
sistance in these railroad problems are 
concerned with and embrace all manner 
of signals and safety devices for the pro- 
tection of life and property. The thought 
and money that are being lavished on 
this side of the problem can be realized 
by a glance at any or all of the scientific 

periodicals. But the lines of greatest re- 
sistance, and at the same time of the 
greatest importance, which call for a 
study of the human element, that is to 
say of the conduct of the men in relation 
to efficiency of service, have as yet failed 
to receive the attention and thought 
which the importance of the problem un- 
deniably calls for. 

Undoubtedly this view of the matter 
will meet with considerable criticism. 
It is a distinct reflection on the policies 
and methods of the officials and the au- 
thorities to whom the public is in the 
habit of looking for assistance and en- 
lightenment. Nevertheless, a short con- 
sideration of the subject will, I think, be 
sufficient to sustain my contention, and 
at the same time it will serve as an intro- 
duction to a chapter in the railroad busi- 
ness that is replete with interesting par- 
ticulars, as well from the industrial as 
from the sociological point of view. 

From the nature of the railroad busi- 
ness, with its multiplicity of rules, sig- 
nals, and customs, which constitute the 
mysteries of the operating department, 
little assistance is to be expected, in a 
direct way, from the ideas and opinions 
of the general public in the devising or 
initiating of improved methods of opera- 
tion. Public opinion, however, has its 
proper function and influence, which can 
be profitably utilized in other directions. 

In the same way, judging from experi- 
ence and our knowledge of the past, little 
assistance in the way of thought or co- 
operation is to be anticipated from the 
rank and file of the men. No amount of 
public stimulation or official encourage- 
ment has so far had any effect in rousing 
the average engineman, conductor, or sta- 
tion agent, and inducing him to devote 
any part of his spare time or his talents 
to a fearless discussion of these railroad 
problems, which are so intimately re- 
lated to the safety of the traveling public. 
Neither in the railroad magazines nor 
in the newspapers, will you ever come 
across an article or any kind of appeal 
calling upon the organizations to take a 

Confessions of a Railroad Signalman 


hand, in any public way, by cooperation 
with managers or otherwise, in improving 
the scandalous accident record, which 
at the present day is the distinguishing 
feature of the American railroad service. 
Every railroad man seems to be a special- 
ist in his own department, and up to date 
there is no suspicion of a social conscience 
in any way connected with his job or his 
schedules. In a word, the employee has 
not devoted to the subject of railroad ac- 
cidents any systematic thought or con- 
sideration whatever. 

Turning now to the officials of our 
railroads, to the trainmasters, superin- 
tendents, and managers, the evidence is 
even less satisfactory. For it must be al- 
lowed that any systematic and persistent 
study of these matters on the part of the 
railroad officials would sooner or later 
become known to the public, through the 
press. But there is absolutely no evidence 
of the kind in existence. The press of the 
country can be carefully scrutinized and 
watched for an account of a railroad 
accident that has been fearlessly and 
thoroughly analyzed by railroad officials 
and published for the information of the 
public. Personally, after carefully watch- 
ing the outcome of a score of cases, I am 
of the opinion that the investigation of 
a railroad accident by the management 
of an American railroad is neither more 
nor less than a hushing-up process, in 
which the officials are assisted by the 
railroad commissioners, who frequently 
dodge main issues by taking circuitous 

For instance, it cannot be denied that 
railroad commissioners in general are 
aware that interference with discipline in 
aggravated form is a recognized principle 
on our railroads. The Massachusetts 
Commissioners, for example, found them- 
selves face to face with the issue, a few 
years ago, during their investigation of 
what is known as the Baker Bridge dis- 
aster. In their report of this accident, 
they characterized the principle as vicious 
and let it go at that, and yet they are 
just as well aware as I am of the duties 

and habits of a grievance committee, as 
well as of the fact that the privilege of 
unlimited appeal from the discipline of 
the superintendent is to be found in al- 
most every agreement between men and 

I am not presuming, in any way, to de- 
fine the functions or duties of the Rail- 
road Commissioners ; my object is simply 
to discover, if possible, by whom and in 
what manner these railroad accidents 
are being studied and analyzed in the 
interests of the traveling public. All our 
evidence, therefore, points to the fact that 
trainmasters, superintendents, and man- 
agers, that is to say, the only men in 
the country who are thoroughly posted in 
all the details of railroad life,'and there- 
fore the only men with the ability and 
equipment to think out these problems 
to successful solution, are absolutely 
tongue-tied and pen-paralyzed on the 
subject. Occasionally, perhaps, one of 
these gentlemen may emerge from his se- 
clusion with an interesting essay on cer- 
tain phases of railroad life. In a general 
way he may call attention to the import- 
ance of certain cardinal characteristics 
and virtues. He may emphasize a serr 
mon on the absolute necessity of obedi- 
ence to the rules with numerous and in- 
teresting illustrations; but when it comes 
to a question of enlightening the public 
in regard to the actual working arrange- 
ments that exist between the manage- 
ment and men, he immediately draws a 
wide black line. 

If a superintendent should have the 
temerity to come out in the open and 
describe, for the benefit of the public, 
the process of running his division by 
a combination of rules, schedules, and 
grievance committees, with himself as 
an almost impersonal factor in the midst 
of it all, turning the crank merely as 
director of the machinery, he would in 
short order be called upon to back up 
his story with his resignation. This 
would be a perfectly natural consequence 
of his loyalty to the public interests and 
of his lack of consideration for the tra- 


Confessions of a Railroad Signalman 

ditions and etiquette of his office. Not 
only is this true, but his usefulness as 
a superintendent would be at an end; 
he would be placed on the unfair list by 
employees, and thus he would quickly 
become persona non grata to his super- 
iors, whose harmonious relations with the 
organizations he would constantly be in 
danger of upsetting. 

But if the public should think fit to 
follow up the investigation suggested and 
initiated by the superintendent in this 
way, it would quickly find itself face to 
face with the fundamental antagonism 
that exists in the highest railroad circles 
between the rival interests of harmony and 
efficiency. So far as our railroads are con- 
cerned, this is the " land's end " of discus- 
sion on the safety problem. Harmony is 
the altar upon which the interests of the 
traveling public are continually being 
sacrificed. Harmony is the final ad- 
juster, arbitrator, and referee. Harmony 
dictates the policy of the railroad, the na- 
ture and severity of its discipline, while 
efficiency follows in the rear, as best it 
can. Just as soon as the public gets in- 
terested sufficiently in preventable rail- 
road accidents to call for all the facts in 
relation to them, then, and not until then, 
will harmony be dethroned from its 
dictatorship. So I think I am justified 
in repeating the statement that these 
preventable railroad accidents and the 
causes which lead up to them have not 
yet received proper attention and thought 
at the hands either of the public, of the 
employees, or of the managing bodies of 
the railroads. The superintendent allows 
the public to remain in ignorance out of 
regard for his job, and the manager does 
the same in the interest of harmony. 

It must not be imagined, however, 
that the management is alone to blame 
in the matter. Only too often, in the 
past, when a railroad manager, in the 
interests of good service, has made a 
test case of his power, he has had the 
public as well as the men to contend 
against. As a matter of fact, even at the 
present day, the public is not in a mood 

to give much credit or attention to ex- 
planations and statements that emanate 
from railroad headquarters. It is an un- 
comfortable truth that public opinion, 
as a rule, looks upon official announce- 
ments or reports of railroad accidents as 
being more or less tainted, and the idea 
is deeply imbedded in the public mind 
that a superintendent is open to the same 
suspicion that is commonly attached to 
a manipulator of stocks in Wall Street. 

As it seems to me, then, the conclusion 
that little enlightenment in regard to 
railroad accidents is to be looked for 
from management or men has impressed 
itself in some way on the public mind, 
and the appointment of boards of rail- 
road commissioners to look after the 
public interests has been the natural con- 
sequence. But when we come to hunt 
up the evidence in regard to the study 
of railroad accidents by railroad com- 
missioners, a most unlooked-for state of 
affairs is disclosed. 

Undoubtedly most of the problems that 
come up before the commissioners for 
solution are well within the sphere of 
their talents and business ability, but a 
fair and impartial investigation of rail- 
road accidents calls for a thorough ex- 
amination and sifting of the evidence by 
men who are actually in touch with the 
working of the rules and the movements 
of the trains. It is not sufficient for 
commissioners to call for the evidence 
and to listen to a rehearsal of some of the 
rules that apply to the case. A fair- 
minded and unprejudiced listener at any 
"hearing" conducted by these boards 
would quickly be impressed with the 
conclusion that in New England, at any 
rate, the commissioners are not fitted 
by training, study, or experience to fur- 
nish the public with intelligent criticism 
of the simplest case of a preventable rail- 
road accident. I have not the slightest 
hesitation in recording this as the whis- 
pered opinion of all railroad men who 
have given any thought to the subject, 
although, of course, it would be highly 
imprudent for any one to say so out loud. 

Confessions of a Railroad Signalman 


Not only to railroad men, but to the 
public as well, the following illustration 
will be as plain and to the point as words 
can make it : 

On September 15, 1907, a head-on 
collision occurred near West Canaan, 
N. H., between two passenger trains, 
in which twenty-five passengers were 
killed and about as many more injured. 
The accident was the result of an error, 
either in sending or receiving a train 
order possibly both the sender and 
receiver were at fault. One of these men 
was the train dispatcher in the main of- 
fice, the other was a telegraph operator 
at a way station. With a view of placing 
the responsibility and explaining the dis- 
aster, an investigation was immediately 
entered into by the Board of Railroad 
Commissioners of the State of New 
Hampshire. These gentlemen were as- 
sisted in their duties by the Attorney- 
General of the state, their legal adviser. 
Replying to the direct question of the 
board, "How do you think this accident 
happened? What occasioned it?" the 
General Superintendent of the Boston & 
Maine Railroad, himself an operator and 
train dispatcher, testified as follows : 

"I would say, in my thirty years' ex- 
perience, closely connected with the dis- 
patching of trains we run something 
like 700,000 trains a year I have 
never known a similar error to be made 
and I never have heard of it. An error 
certainly was made and due, as I believe, 
to a failure of the mental process, either 
in the brain of the dispatcher at Con- 
cord, the operator -at Canaan, or both, 
and it is utterly impossible for me to deter- 
mine which one made the failure, or 
whether or not they both made it" 

Such was the opinion of an expert rail- 
road man, recognized as such by the com- 
missioners themselves. Thereupon the 
general superintendent, at the request 
and for the benefit of the board, entered 
into a minute and exact account of the 
methods employed in moving and han- 
dling trains on the Boston & Maine Rail- 
road, in so far as this was necessary to 

explain the situation at the time of the ac- 
cident. The narrative of the general su- 
perintendent was interrupted at frequent 
intervals by questions from the attorney- 
general and the commissioners. He, the 
manager, was called upon to explain, not 
only the rules of the road, but the com- 
monest principles and movements in the 
train service. "What is a 'block'?" 
" What do you mean by ' O. K.' and ' com- 
plete'?" Explain in detail your train- 
order system." "As a matter of curiosity 
let me ask how this signal works." These 
questions are not put as a mere legal form 
or habit, for many of the points call for 
reiterated explanation before they are 
comprehended by the board. The lan- 
guage is plain enough : they don't under- 
stand this, they are not familiar with that, 
and the section of track on which the 
accident happened they know nothing 
about. In a word, the board goes to school 
to learn something about the elements of 
railroading and the details of train move- 
ments by telegraph, and having in this 
way been thoroughly drilled into an un- 
derstanding of the accident, and having 
listened to all the evidence, the investiga- 
tion comes to an end. 

On October 11, 1907, the finding or 
report of the commissioners was pub- 
lished. After reviewing the accident, 
the evidence in relation to it, and the 
methods of operation in the train serv- 
ice of the Boston & Maine Railroad, 
all of which was, in fact, simply a re- 
production of the testimony of the gen- 
eral superintendent, the board concludes 
its analysis by pointing to the train dis- 
patcher at Concord as the "more than 
probable" transgressor, and actually un- 
dertakes to describe the train of mental 
wanderings by means of which the error 
was arrived at! In the face of the de- 
claration of the expert railroad manager 
that it was impossible to single out the 
offender, the commissioners, on the same 
evidence, but without the expert under- 
standing of it, are satisfied to send this 
train dispatcher out into the world with 
the stigma of implied guilt and respon- 


Nature against Nurture 

sibility for the death of twenty-five 
people on his head. Train dispatchers 
all over the country were very much ex- 
ercised and indignant at this "finding" 
of the commissioners, and I am con- 
vinced it would be very difficult to find 
a telegraph operator in the United States 
who would be willing to say a word in its 

That public officials should feel them- 
selves justified in expressing opinions 
having the nature of verdicts, upon deli- 
cate questions relating to the train-order 
system of train movements, while confess- 
ing themselves ignorant of the terms 
"O. K." and "complete," is beyond the 
comprehension of railroad men; and 
public opinion would quickly see the 
point and recognize the justice of this 
criticism, if its attention should happen 
to be called to the members of a naval 
board of inquiry, for example, whose 
previous experience had been such that 
they were unfamiliar with the terms 
"port" and "starboard." 

A careful perusal of the foregoing ar- 
guments and illustrations should have 
the effect of impressing upon the public 

mind two simple, yet very significant, 
conclusions : 

In the first place it will be evident that 
the safety problem on American railroads 
must be taken in hand and solved by the 
people. The present tangled condition of 
affairs can be straightened out only by 
supreme authority. 

And our second conclusion is the re- 
velation that the area in American in- 
dustrial life covered by these prevent- 
able railroad accidents and the causes 
that lead up to them is practically, at the 
present day, a terra incognita. Of course 
the railroad man who steps out from the 
rank and file and undertakes to give 
away the plans and topography of the 
country for the benefit of those who are 
interested in improving conditions ex- 
poses himself to all sorts of cynical criti- 
cism in the minds of his fellows. How- 
ever, as a matter of fact, your true 
philosopher thrives in this kind of atmo- 
sphere. He is born of the battle and the 
breeze, and spends a lifetime in fortify- 
ing the walls of his "tub," into which, 
when hard beset, he retires to enjoy 



OUR knowledge of the way in which 
living things have come to be what they 
are, and of the means by which they may 
be made something else, bionomics, as 
we are learning to- call it, has come 
a long way since 1902. The changed 
aspect of the science appears, not un- 
strikingly, in the two excerpts which fol- 
low : one by an English man of science, a 
Fellow of Gonville and Caius; the other 
by an Illinois farmer writing in a farm 
paper. Both are by men who have them- 
selves done the things they write about. 

"Less than two years have passed 

since the first edition of this little book 
appeared, yet so rapid has been the pro- 
gress of Mendelian studies, that part of 
what was then written is already out of 
date. Why the dwarf pea sprung from 
tall ancestors breeds true to dwarf ness; 
why the progeny of a black and a white 
rabbit are in one case all black, and in 
another all of the wild gray color; why 
the 'pure' blue Andalusian fowl must 
ever remain a mongrel these and other 
seeming paradoxes were clear two years 
ago. But why two white sweet peas 
should give a purple, and why two hair- 

Nature against Nurture 


less stocks should revert to the hairy form 
these were questions that were then 
unsolved. That experiment would give 
us the solution we were confident, and 
our confidence has been justified by the 
event. The sweet pea and the stock have 
yielded up their secret, and we are at last 
able to form a clear conception of the 
meaning of 'reversion'." 

"You may with these laws [of Mendel] 
make a breed with these combinations: 
Black Angus with horns; same with 
white face ; same with white face and no 
horns; you can put the Hereford white 
face on the buffalo (as has Colonel 
Jones); you can obtain any character 
you desire from any breed and graft this 
character on to your favorite breed, and 
at the same time eliminate all the other 
heredities gotten from the borrowed 

Ten years ago, organic evolution was 
one of the speculative sciences. To-day, 
the farmer has only to specify that his 
wheat must ripen by such and such a 
date; stand up under a certain wind 
velocity; thrive in this, that, or the other 
soil ; bear in its seeds so much protein or 
so much starch; and the United States 
Department of Agriculture or the Seed- 
Grain Society for Sweden builds him the 
plant to order. What was but lately the 
solicitude of the theologian has now be- 
come the concern of the market gardener. 

How such things are done, and the 
theory which underlies their doing, ap- 
pears in a group of books whose number 
attests the world's perennial interest in 
the topic. A few of the group, to be 
sure, are more readable than fresh or 
important. 1 Yet even among these, Mr. 
TruinbuH's brief work is noteworthy for 

1 Darwinism and the Problems of Life. By 
CONRAD GUENTHER, Ph. D. Translated from 
the third German edition by JOSEPH McCABE. 
New York : E. P. Button & Co. 1907. 

Life and Evolution. By F. W. HEADLEY, 
F. Z. S. New York: E. P. Button & Co. 

Evolution and Religion. By WILLIAM TRUM- 
BULL, LL.B. New York : The Grafton Press. 

the unaffected sincerity with which it sets 
forth, as to a boy just getting too old for 
Sunday-School, the evolutionary basis of 
morality. De Vries 2 is as always De 
Vries, the world's first authority in his 
field, an investigator who writes with the 
clarity of one who sees his subject steadily 
and whole. Of his three general works, 
this is much the briefest and least tech- 
nical. The two Californians lecture each 
year to their university public; and the 
inevitable book, 3 skillfully made as befits 
two such practiced writers, brings to an 
old topic enough that is new and Western 
to commend itself even to the hardened 
evolutionist. In much the same fashion, 
the junior author 4 alone treats a single 
aspect of the larger problem. Both au- 
thors, in controverted matters, follow the 
middle way; each book, though too con- 
densed for easy reading, is on the whole 
the best of its kind. 

A zoologist at Columbia surveys a 
field in which he has himself done much 
sound and not a little brilliant work. 5 
Professor Morgan was one of the first in 
this country to take up zoology from the 
experimental side, and few men in the 
world are better equipped to write a 
general work on the subject. In addi- 
tion, since the passing of the group of 
which Hyatt and Shaler were the best- 
known figures, he has been the most im- 
portant American opponent and critic of 
Darwinism. Of the two Englishmen, 
both students at first hand of the topics 

2 Plant Breeding : Comments on the Experi- 
ments of Nilsson and Burbank. By HUGO DE 
VRIES. Chicago : The Open Court Publishing 
Company. 1907. 

3 Evolution and Animal Life. By DAVID 
LOGG. New York : D. Appleton & Co. 1907. 

4 Darwinism To-day. A discussion of pre- 
sent-day scientific criticism of the Darwinian 
selection theories, together with a brief ac- 
count of the principal other proposed auxiliary 
and alternative theories of species-forming. 
By VERNON L. KELLOGG. New York : Henry 
Holt & Co. 1907. 

5 Experimental Zoology. By THOMAS HUNT 
MORGAN. New York : The Macmillan Com- 
pany. 1907. 


Nature against Nurture 

they discuss, Lock * covers the wider 
field; while Punnett, 2 from whom comes 
my first quotation, seems to me to have 
achieved the best simple exposition yet 
in print of Mendelism and the Mutation 

Prom the University of Aberdeen 
comes an orderly summing-up of all that 
is known and much that has been guessed 
concerning natural inheritance. 3 The 
well-known Evolution of Sex of the same 
author has for years been the one book 
to which the lay student turns first; this 
newest work, strikingly like the older in 
method, may well attain the same high 
repute. Inevitably, since all bionomic 
roads now-a-days lead to the same Rome, 
Professor Thompson's book overlaps 
others of the group whose nominal sub- 
jects are quite different. Of them all, 
however, his is aimed most frankly at 
the general reader; his in consequence 
deals most fully with man. 

Yet while Mendel and Mutation bulk 
large in all these books, they have for the 
three Britons a significance deeper than 
any scientific or economic interest. Eng- 
land, more perhaps than any other 
civilized nation, has realized that high 
social development and rapid material 
progress are not of necessity accompanied 
by any improvement of the stock itself. 
Thanks in no small part to Mendel, we 
can to-day distinguish pretty clearly be- 
tween those qualities of men which, not 
being inherited, perish with their posses- 
sors; those other qualities which, by con- 
tinuous selection, can be brought to a 
fixed pitch, only to deteriorate again, the 
moment selection ceases; and those other 
qualities which, less dependent on selec- 
tion, remain as long as the race endures. 
With a sound and workable theory of 
heredity at last established, it is inevit- 

1 Eecent Progress in the Study of Variation, 
Heredity and Evolution. By ROBERT HEATH 
LOCK, M. A. New York : E. P. Dutton & Co. 

2 Mendelism. By R. 0. PUNNETT. New 
York : The Macmillan Company. 1907. 

3 Heredity. By J. ARTHUR THOMPSON, M. A. 
New York : G. P. Putnam's Sons. 1908. 

able that English men of science should 
wish to apply that theory, to stop the de- 
generation of one of the finest of human 

To this important topic are devoted 
also the latest Boyle 4 and Spencer 5 lec- 
tures. The two men who made modern 
biometrics have for years been pointing 
out just where the nation's efforts to bet- 
ter itself have been based on a fundamen- 
tal misconception of the nature of living 
things. At last, suddenly, the nation has 
found ears to hear. The two printed lec- 
tures and Mr. Punnett's essay are, all 
three together, but an evening's reading 
but they are tracts for the times. 

The making and unmaking of men is 
also the burden of a larger work. 6 Un- 
fortunately, it seems to be the fate of 
sociologist and educator, when they at- 
tempt to found their conclusions upon 
more fundamental sciences, to select 
only the wilder theories of science, and 
to build their special doctrines upon 
some principle which the scientific world 
promptly repudiates. Witness, for ex- 
ample, Spencer's belief in the inheritance 
of acquired characters, or that ancient 
myth, still dear to the heart of the child- 
student, that the young animal repeats 
in its life-stages the history of its adult 
ancestors. Mr. Chatterton-Hill does not 
altogether escape the common failing. An 
ardent disciple of Weismann, he has 
chosen to put special stress upon pre- 
cisely those parts of Weismann's teaching 
"ids," namely, "determinants" "ger- 
minal selection," the whole fanciful the- 
ory of inheritance which biologists 
have allowed to drop quietly out of sight. 
Mr. Chatterton-HilPs science, good so far 
as it goes, belongs to the last decade of 

4 The Scope and Importance to the State of 
the Science of National Eugenics. By KARL 
PEARSON, F. R. S. New York : Henry Frowde. 

6 Probability, the Foundation of Eugenics. 
By FRANCIS GALTON, F. R. S. New York : 
Henry Frowde. 1907. 

6 Heredity and Selection in Sociology. By 
The Macmillan Company. 1907. 

Nature against Nurture 


the nineteenth century rather than to the 
first decade of this. 

Nor is Mr. Chatterton-Hill altogether 
sound in passages like the following, in 
which he expresses pretty completely an 
opinion, fundamental not only to him- 
self, but also to the entire group to which 
he belongs. 

"But cannot human reason put an end 
to this state of conflict, cannot it bring 
about, for the higher forms of human 
society, a cessation of strife? The reply 
must be negative. Only through the 
medium of conflict can selection operate; 
and if conflict be suppressed, the ac- 
tion of selection is rendered impossible. 
What must be the result? Stagnation 
and consequent extinction. By the sup- 
pression of conflict human society would 
suppress itself." 

The facts are, of course, quite the 
contrary. The most rapid evolution 
that we know anything about appears 
in polled cattle and rustless wheats in 
precisely those organisms, in short, which, 
most completely removed from the 
struggle for existence, are being selected 
in accordance with an ideal. A domes- 
ticated species in the hands of Nilsson 
makes more progress overnight than na- 
ture, with her free-for-all competition, can 
effect in a hundred years. Now, civilized 
man is not a wild species but a domes- 
ticated species. His immediate problem 
is not so much how the tiger acquired his 
claws and the ape lost its tail, as how 
Burbank's cactus lost its spines and Web- 
ber's oranges learned to withstand frost. 
One may indeed learn from the sociolo- 
gists all that he cares to know concerning 
the causes of racial decay; he must look 
to the biologists if he would learn the 
possibilities of racial advance. 

There really are two different pro- 
blems confronting a modern state. One, 
to hold its population up to the standard 
of fitness which it has already reached, as 
nature holds a wild species up to its sur- 
vival level. The other and quite different 
task is to transform and improve a popu- 
lation with every advance of civilization, 

as a domesticated race is moulded to fol- 
low the demands of the market. The first 
of these might have been begun at any 
time within the last twenty years; the 
second has awaited precise knowledge 
which has come only within the last five. 

Given that knowledge, there is little 
that a nation might not do for itself. It 
took Biffin at Cambridge University only 
three seasons to fix immunity to yellow 
rust in one of the worst rusting of English 
wheats. It took Castle at Harvard less 
than a year to put another toe on the 
hind foot of a guinea-pig. In hardly 
longer time, Tower at Chicago turned 
out a race of Colorado beetles, so much 
hardier and more prolific than the com- 
mon potato-bug, that he was constrained 
to put them all to the sword lest they de- 
vastate half a continent. Thanks, among 
others, to the authors of several of the 
books now before us, a benevolent and 
all-powerful despot backed by a scienti- 
fic commission could "Burbank" the 
soberness of Jew or Chinaman into the 
most drunken of races, and make the 
saloon as innocuous as the public library. 
A free people, who realized in full their 
duty to their children and the state, could 
make of themselves a race of able men 
who should do with ease and pleasure 
the tasks which they now perform with 
toil and pain. Either could solve the 
problem of the unemployed by having 
no more unemployable. 

The general case of domesticated man 
against wild nature is put most uncom- 
promisingly by a distinguished anato- 
mist too little known on this side of the 
water. 1 We might, if we only would, 
say various men of science, work diverse 
profitable miracles. We must, says the 
former director in the British Museum, 
whether we will or not. Civilized man 
has long ceased to take unresistingly 
what nature gives him. Now he comes 
to a parting of the ways, where he must 
either go forward to a complete conquest 

1 The Kingdom of Man. By E. RAT LAN- 
KESTER, M. A., D. Sc., LL. D., F. R. S. New 
York : Henry Holt & Co. 


The Restatement of Theology 

of nature and himself; or else "perish 
miserably by the vengeance certain to 
fall on the half-hearted meddler in great 
affairs." Man has defied nature, and one 
or other of them must take the conse- 
quences. Once more, this time in a 
Romanes lecture, an English naturalist 
calls upon science for a new kind of Eng- 

The same living faith in the power of 
science to transform humanity and there- 
by to make men happy, explains, I think, 
the vogue of Elie Metchnikoff * among 
thoughtful people. The ideal for which 
the man of to-day is to strive is not the 
harmonious development of all his pow- 
ers. Those powers nature made, haltingly 
and blunderingly, to fit another environ- 

1 The Prolongation of Life: Optimistic 
Studies. By Elie Metchnikoff. New York: 
G. P. Putnam's Sons. 1908. 

ment than ours. Civilized man has re- 
made the earth and seen that it is not 
good. It now remains for him to trans- 
form himself into the kind of man who 
will be happy amid his own handiwork. 
"Human nature, which, like the consti- 
tution of other organisms, is subject to 
evolution, must be modified according to 
a definite ideal. Just as a gardener or 
stock-raiser is not content with the ex- 
isting nature of the plants and animals 
with which he is occupied, but modifies 
them to suit his purposes, so also the 
scientific philosopher must not think of 
existing human nature as immutable, but 
must try to modify it for the advantage 
of mankind." 

Much of this could be begun now. All 
of it will have to be done sooner or 
later. The world is the heritage of that 
nation which does it first. 



ONE who reads the theological books 
of the past twelve months finds that a 
great number of them are engaged in dis- 
cussing the restatement of theology. This 
is, indeed, one of the oldest of debates. 
Arius and Athanasius represented the 
opposing sides of it. The Council of 
Trent and the Westminster Assembly of 
Divines were busy with it. But the con- 
tention turns to-day upon a new point. 
The present proposition is not to sub- 
stitute a new creed for an old one, but 
to change the emphasis of interest from 
a theological system to a theological 

The previous arguments have been for 
and against a system, but the men who 
are just now doing the most interesting 
work in theology are not occupied in the 
defense or in the demolition of any par- 
ticular body of results. Their whole de- 

sire is to know the truth of God, and the 
point of variance is in the question 
whether the student is to be free to find 
whatever truth he can, or is to be forbid- 
den to find any truth which is out of ac- 
cord with the accepted system. This is 
plainly a more radical difference than 
that which arises in the discussion of any 
single article of the creed, for it is a de- 
bate between the claims of authority on 
the one side and of reason on the other. 
It involves the entire process of theo- 
logical study, and the place of theology 
in the curriculum of learning. Shall the 
teacher of theology hear recitations or 
shall he give lectures? Shall he depend 
on a text-book or shall he verify and in- 
crease the knowledge of the past by his 
own research ? The restatement of theo- 
logy, as at present debated, implies not so 
much a proposition or series of proposi- 

The Restatement of Theology 


tions, as a privilege. It is a question of 
method. Thus the latest Bampton Lec- 
turer, in his book, The Reproach of the 
Gospel, 1 says that if the restatement of the 
creeds means "an official recasting of 
dogma in the language of the twentieth 
century, then such a scheme might be 
summarily dismissed as impossible; all 
would end in a cloud of new controversy, 
and confusion worse confounded." But 
if this means "that our conception of 
God must develop with the mental and 
moral growth of each succeeding genera- 
tion, the process is not only desirable but 

It is to be regretted that almost all the 
new books are written by the advocates 
of change. The old text is revised to read, 
"the new is better." The conservatives, 
indeed, are busy with their pens, but 
they are writing denominational tracts, 
or letters to ecclesiastical newspapers, or 
little books issued by publishing houses 
which have a rather limited constituency. 
This situation has two unfortunate re- 
sults: it increases the misunderstanding 
between the reflective and the unreflect- 
ive classes, and it impels the believers in 
things-as-they-are to substitute the super- 
ficial argument of compulsion for the 
convincing argument of reason. 

The new books are in substantial agree- 
ment in deploring the misunderstanding 
between the reflective and the unreflect- 
ive classes. A good many of them are 
written in the endeavor to recall the 
scholar, the philosopher, the man of let- 
ters, to his old place in the fraternity of 
the faithful people. They invite him back, 
however, on somewhat new conditions. 
They tell him that a great number of 
sermons have been preached since last he 
went to church, and that they are better 
now than they used to be. They assure 
him that not only has the doctrine of evo- 
lution been commonly accepted, but that 
to it has been added the doctrine of the 
immanence of God, and that all doc- 

1 The Reproach of the Gospel. By JAMES H. 
F. PEILB. London : Longmans, Green & Co. 

trines are interpreted and valued accord- 
ing to the principle of the pragmatic 
philosophy. And this means a great 
change. For the doctrine that God is in 
the world, as interpreted, for example, by 
Professor Bowne in The Immanence of 
God, 2 makes the natural as divine as the 
supernatural. God, then, is in the ordi- 
nary processes of nature, in the green hills 
as in the volcano, in the journey of the 
modern traveler through the Suez Canal 
as in the journey of the people of Israel 
across the Red Sea. God is in all history, 
in the slow progress of nations as well as 
in dramatic battles; and in all thought, 
assisting not only the prophet but the 
student. The old notion that God makes 
himself known only by the intervention of 
miracle passes away and leaves us free 
to examine the miraculous, and even in 
this and that instance to deny it, without 
feeling that we are thereby dismissing 
God. Also the principle of valuing doc- 
trine according to its result in conduct, as 
set forth, for example, by Professor James 
in his Pragmatism, 3 makes great changes 
in the perspective of theology. The most 
important thing in life, according to this 
philosophy, is conduct, action, pragma. 
And the most important truths for us are 
those which actually affect our lives the 
most. Other, lesser propositions, may 
be equally true, but not of equal "cash 
value." These the wise religious teacher 
will set in the background, and by this 
distribution of truths will practically 
make a restatement of theology. 

Unhappily, however, while the progres- 
sive brethren are thus enlarging upon the 
doctrine of immanence and the method 
of pragmatism, and are gaining the ac- 
ceptance of the reflective, the brethren 
of the conservative side are teaching the 
great body of the people that these doc- 
trines are not only untrue but perni- 
cious ; while they are apparently making 

2 The Immanence of God. By BOBDEN P. 
BOWNE. Boston and New York : Houghton, 
Mifflin & Co. 1905. 

8 Pragmatism. By WILLIAM JAMES. New 
York : Longmans, Green & Co. 1907. 


The Restatement of Theology 

no serious attempt to commend their 
position, on either its positive or its nega- 
tive side, to persons of learning and cul- 
tivation. That is, the progressives, being 
writers of books, are saying one thing to 
the reflective classes; the conservatives, 
being writers of tracts, are saying another 
thing to the unreflective classes. 

The two voices are bad enough, but 
the separation between the classes is not 
only increased but embittered by an en- 
deavor on the part of the conservatives 
to silence the progressives. They are 
trying to bring about a uniformity of 
teaching, not by a better understanding, 
not by conciliation, nor even by arbitra- 
tion, but by a process of ecclesiastical 
lock-out. This is a confession of weakness, 
and thus far is encouraging to liberal theo- 
logians. The man who is sure of the sta- 
bility of his position will argue gladly and 
everlastingly; he will welcome all inves- 
tigation, and will be satisfied to entrust 
his case to the decision of the common 
sense of public opinion. He will have no 
desire to strengthen his side by putting 
his neighbor to silence. That will be as 
repugnant to him as the foul endeavor 
of an athletic team to win a game by 
crippling their opponents. That this 
summons of the police and invocation of 
the ecclesiastical court is indeed a true 
sign of a sense of weakness, is confirmed 
by the prevailing minor key of the con- 
servative voice, and by the general con- 
servative agreement that things are going 
every day from bad to worse. The con- 
trast in current literature between the 
depression of the conservatives and the 
cheerfulness of the progressives is both 
notable and significant. 

The contrast is altogether warranted 
by the progress which is evident in the 
restatement of theology. That is, the 
method of free study has established it- 
self beyond recall. That part of the de- 
bate which has regard to the parliament- 
ary procedure of theologians is settled. 
The attempt to evade the rules of the 
game by processes of excommunication 
is as futile as the attempt of a soldier to 

protect himself against powder and shot 
by wearing chain armor. The effect of 
such evasion of debate, the use of force 
instead of reason, is only to array against 
orthodoxy the sympathies, and presently 
the convictions, of liberally educated 
people. There is at present an invincible 
distrust of a system which needs to be 
propped up after that manner. There is 
a general feeling that truth is able to 
stand alone. 

How naturally and gradually the idea 
of ecclesiastical authority in doctrine grew 
among Christian people is shown by 
Mr. Durell in his book of citations from 
the early fathers, entitled, The Historic 
Church. 1 At first, there was none of it. In 
the New Testament it has no place. St. 
Peter, afterwards taken as the apostle of 
authority, speaks with singular restraint 
and humility. Then the Montanists and 
the Gnostics came, and they compelled 
definition. The Montanists said, "Are 
not we laymen priests as well as you?" 
and thus necessitated a definition of the 
church. The Gnostics said, "What we 
say is true, what you say is false," and 
the simplest mode of reply was to refer to 
church tradition. "Go to the Apostolic 
churches, and hear what they say. They 
have the truth which was committed by 
Christ to the apostles." In the East, the 
fathers were fond of philosophical debate, 
and they argued the Nicene Creed, for 
and against, for fifty years. But in the 
West, men were imperfectly acquainted 
with metaphysics, and impatient of phi- 
losophy, and intent on doing things, and 
in the habit of commanding and obey- 
ing, and the convenient reference to tra- 
dition prevailed. It saved the trouble of 
laboriously thinking the thing out. This, 
however, while it contented the Latin 
mind, did not abidingly satisfy the very 
different temper of the Teuton. Hence 
the Reformation. Hence also the differ- 
ence in point of view between Scholasti- 
cism and Modernism. 

Of course, there are a lot of people to 

1 The Historic Church. By J. C. V. DURELL. 
Cambridge : The University Press. 1906. 

The Restatement of Theology 


whom authority is absolutely necessary. 
And in this company most of us find 
ourselves at one time or another ; one re- 
members Mr. Chesterton's happy phrase 
"The human race, to which so many 
of my readers belong." But there is a 
great difference between authority as a 
free public utility and as a monopoly. 
We all use it and are glad to use it; but 
when any company of gentlemen an- 
nounce that we must henceforth use 
their authority on pain of divers unpleas- 
ant consequences here or hereafter, we 
instinctively revolt, because we are made 
that way. This being the case, at least 
with the reflective classes, one is per- 
plexed to see why a method of teaching 
which arouses inevitable dissent should 
not be given up for a method which pro- 
duces a reasonable conviction of the 
truth. That the modern method is 
adapted to the maintenance of conserv- 
ative positions is admirably shown by 
Dr. Orr in his vigorous discussion of the 
Virgin Birth of Christ. 1 The demand 
for a restatement of this particular art- 
icle of the creed has usually been made 
by men who have already rejected the 
supernatural, and has been refused by 
men who seem to have no understanding 
of the serious difficulties which are in- 
volved. In this futile debate, it is pleas- 
ant to find a champion of orthodoxy who, 
with neither fears nor tears, proceeds at 
once to state and defend his position 
with a good knowledge of the intellectual 
situation. There is a downright quality 
in Dr. Orr's dialectic which sometimes 
carries conviction beyond the argument. 
Indeed, whatever weakness there is in it 
comes from a resolute purpose to defend 
his thesis at all points. The truth is that 
there are some points which are much 
more obscure than the argument allows. 
The reflective reader would prefer some 
recognition of these hard places, some 
confession that honest men are not wholly 
without reason in their incredulity. 

1 The Virgin Birth of Christ. By JAMBS 
ORB. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons. 

That would seem less like an appeal to 
a jury and more like a sympathetic study 
of a great mystery. 

The mystery finds no place in Dr. 
Campbell's dealing with this doctrine in 
The New Theology. 2 He restates it by 
elimination. He thinks that it is true, but 
that it never happened. The truth which 
it contains is that " the emergence of any- 
thing great and beautiful in human char- 
acter and achievement is the work of the 
divine spirit within human limitations." 
Thus the Virgin Birth, he says, is akin to 
the myth of the making of the world, and 
is repeated perennially in experience. 
"The spiritual birth described in the con- 
versation between our Lord and Nicode- 
mus as given in the third of John, is, 
properly speaking, a virgin birth. Every 
man who deliberately faces towards the 
highest, and feels himself reinforced by 
the spirit of God in so doing, is quickened 
from above; the divinely human Christ 
is born in him, the Word has become flesh 
and is manifested to the world." 

One hesitates to speak of Dr. Camp- 
bell's work in any other terms than those 
of appreciation, partly because of the 
spiritual earnestness which is everywhere 
evident in it, and partly because his im- 
mediate neighbors are just now adminis- 
tering to him all the criticism which is 
really needed for his soul's health. He 
says in the preface to his Christianity and 
the Social Order, 3 "At the present mo- 
ment I am in the position of having been 
quietly excluded from an active share in 
every Nonconformist organization with 
which I was formerly connected, with the 
exception of the City Temple itself." 
But his dealing with the doctrine of the 
Virgin Birth explains in some measure 
the reason for this disapprobation. The 
constitution of the human mind is such 
that we are inclined to take plain hostility 
in better part than injurious fraternity. 

2 The New Theology. By R. J. CAMPBELL. 
New York : The Macmillan Company. 1907. 

8 Christianity and the Social Order. By R. J. 
CAMPBELL. New York : The Macmillan Com- 
pany. 1907. 


The Restatement of Theology 

We prefer a straight denial of the creed 
to an acceptance of it which at the same 
time virtually contradicts its meaning. 
We greatly dislike to be comforted in our 
loss of a fact by the offer of a "truth" 
of the same name ; and if the comfort is 
administered in an affectionate manner 
we greatly resent it. The psalmist who 
said, " Let the righteous rather smite 
me friendly and reprove me," hastened 
to add (in the Prayer-book version) "but 
let not their precious balms break my 
head." Dr. Briggs, in his learned inter- 
pretation of the Psalms l in the Interna- 
tional Critical Commentary, says that 
this is not a good translation. Neverthe- 
less, it expresses a state of mind which is 
common enough. Whether the psalmist 
intended it or not, there are precious 
balms which hurt more than clubs. We 
are of the same mind with the small child 
who said, "Mother, I don't care how 
hard you scold me, if only you won't put 
your arm around me." Some of the dis- 
favor with which Dr. Campbell's work 
is received is due to the fact that while he 
scolds us he puts his arm around us. 
Against that our souls revolt. 

When Dr. Campbell's books are set 
beside The Substance of the Faith 2 by Sir 
Oliver Lodge, and Through Scylla and 
Charybdis 3 by Father Tyrrell, we have 
the case against immutable orthodoxy 
stated from three quite different points of 
view, by a Protestant, by a Catholic, and 
by a man of science. 

Bishop Gore, in The New Theology 
and the Old Religion* expresses a decided 
preference for the position of Sir Oliver 
Lodge as contrasted with that of Dr. 

1 A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on 
Charles Scribner's Sons. 1907. 

2 The Substance of the Faith. By OLIVER 
LODGE. New York : Harper & Brothers. 1907. 

8 Through Scylla and Charybdis. By GEORGE 
TYRRELII. London and New York : Long-- 
mans, Green & Co. 1907. 

4 The New Theology and the Old Religion. 
By CHARLES GORE. New York: E. P. 
Dutton & Co. 1907. 

Campbell. "The New Theology," he 
says, "is of course to be differently esti- 
mated when it is proposed to us from the 
side of science, and when it is advocated 
by ministers of the Catholic creed, or of 
Nonconformist bodies who have been 
identified with the same fundamental be- 
lief." In the latter cases "it represents 
abandonment, not progress. But, viewed 
as an advance from the side of science, I 
desire to give the warmest welcome to so 
spiritual a creed." 

Sir Oliver Lodge, Father Tyrrell, and 
Dr. Campbell agree that there is need of 
a restatement of theology. The relation of 
theology to religion is like the relation of 
biology to life. The task of the theologian 
is to set forth in an ordered way our best 
knowledge of God. But in this region two 
changes are in constant progress; there 
is, in the first place, a change in our man- 
ner of expression, so that each genera- 
tion must be addressed in its own tongue 
wherein it is born, the old sermons be- 
coming inevitably obsolete, even the best 
of them, and the old commentaries be- 
coming hopelessly unreadable; and there 
is, in the second place, an increase in our 
knowledge of God, partly by better ac- 
quaintance with the manifestation of God 
in nature and in experience, partly by 
better understanding of the revelation of 
God in the Bible, as the study of the book 
goes on year after year, and partly by an 
indefinable but perceptible leading of 
divine influence which, age by age, brings 
humanity into the presence of new pro- 
blems and assists in their solution. 

It is by recognition of these changes 
that men came into that attitude towards 
theology which is called Modernism. 
The Modernist perceives in ecclesiastical 
history a record of doctrinal development. 
The gradual formation of doctrine re- 
garding the atonement, the church, the 
eucharist, the scriptures, illustrates this 
order of normal change and consequent 
restatement. "For the exigences of this 
ceaselessly developing life, an unalter- 
able theology," says Father Tyrrell, 
"would be a strait- waistcoat, a Procrus- 

The Restatement of Theology 


tean bed ; every day it would become less 
helpful, and at last hurtful and fatal. 
The soul that is alive, and wants to live 
and grow, must have a congenial, intelli- 
gible idea of the world it would live in, 
and will therefore either adapt and inter- 
pret the current theologies to suit its re- 
quirements, or else break away from 
them altogether and make a home for 

This, of course, involves the possibility 
of such a restatement of theology as is 
made by Dr. Campbell. He is addressing 
conservative people, shut up, as he thinks, 
in stout prisons of ignorance and preju- 
dices. The first thing to do is to let them 
free, and in order to do this the pris- 
on doors must be opened. The prisoner 
being unwilling to draw the bolts him- 
self and admit the rescuer, the rescuer 
must resort to battering-rams. But this 
is most unpleasant for the prisoner, who 
is very comfortable and satisfied with the 
prison. As the demolition proceeds, he 
foresees that presently the roof will 
descend upon his head. He regards these 
big blows not as the breaking of a jail, 
but as the ruin of a home. It is in this 
spirit that he hears Dr. Campbell say, 
"By the Deity we mean the all-control- 
ling consciousness of the universe, as 
well as the infinite, unfathomable, and 
unknowable abyss of being beyond." 
And again, "Jesus was God, but so are 
we. He was God because his life was the 
expression of divine love ; we too are one 
with God in so far as our lives express the 
same thing." And again, "It is quite a 
false idea to think of Jesus and no one 
else as the Son of God incarnate. We can 
rise toward Him by trusting, loving, and 
serving Him; and by so doing we shall 
demonstrate that we too are Christ, the 
eternal Son." The problem of modern 
preaching has been defined as consisting 
in the difficulty of telling the truth with- 
out scaring your grandmother. During 
Dr. Campbell's preaching the ushers are 
busy removing grandmothers in various 
conditions of collapse. 

And this, cries the sensitive soul, is 
VOL. 102 - NO. 1 

Modernism! this is the New Theology! 
But the reply is Yes and No. Modernism 
does indeed carry with it the possibility 
of such conclusions, but not of necessity. 
The restatement of theology, implying 
as it does the free play of the mind upon 
the materials of religious truth, involves 
entire liberty to try experiments, to dis- 
cuss audacious propositions, and even to 
make serious mistakes. What then? 
Shall we fall into panic fear? Shall we 
call on the arm of authority to put the 
questioner to silence? Shall we retire 
trembling behind the breastworks of ex- 
communication ? Who is afraid? Who 
is in terror lest the mathematicians shall 
invalidate the multiplication table, or lest 
the geologists shall undermine the hills ? 
Is not the actual procedure now in pro- 
cess not only the most dignified, the most 
reasonable, the most believing, but also 
the most effective method? Dr. Camp- 
bell's neighbors are showing their dissent 
by quietly leaving him off from Noncon- 
formist committees, and the Bishop of 
Birmingham answers him in a book. This 
beats the major excommunication and 
the Encyclical Pascendi out of sight. It 
not only confirms the faith of hesitating 
persons, but it gives Dr. Campbell a 
chance to change his mind. And truth 
will be no worse for it. "Whoever knew 
Truth put to the worse in a free and open 
encounter? Let her and Falsehood 
grapple." And Milton's next splendid 
sentence is worth remembering also: 
"Who knows not that Truth is strong, 
next to the Almighty; she needs no pol- 
icies, nor stratagems, nor licensings to 
make her victorious ; those are the shifts 
and the defences that error uses against 
her power." 

Moreover, the New Theology as Dr. 
Campbell interprets it is not Modernism ; 
it is but a passing eccentricity in a strong, 
discriminating, and in the main conserva- 
tive, movement. Thus Sir Oliver Lodge, 
even, as one might say, from the out- 
side, deals with the matters which Dr. 
Campbell is discussing in quite a differ- 
ent manner. "The most essential ele- 


The Restatement of Theology 

ment in Christianity," he says, "is its 
conception of a human God; of a God, 
in the first place, not apart from the uni- 
verse, not outside of it and distinct from 
it, but immanent in it; yet not immanent 
only, but actually incarnate, incarnate 
in it and revealed in the Incarnation. 
The Christian idea of God is not that of 
a being outside of the universe, above its 
struggles and advances, looking on and 
taking no part in the process, solely ex- 
alted, beneficent, self-determined, and 
complete; no, it is also that of a God who 
loves, who yearns, who suffers, who 
keenly laments the rebellious and mis- 
guided activity of the free agents brought 
into being by Himself as part of Himself, 
who enters into the storm and conflict 
and is subject to conditions, as the soul 
of it all." 

And Bishop Gore says, "What we 
need is frankness of mind. In any set- 
tled period, the permanent faith becomes 
encrusted with more or less temporary 
elements, the gold becomes mixed with 
dross; and when a turn of the wheel of 
thought takes place we must have the 
intellectual courage to seek to dissociate 
the permanent from the impermanent, to 
draw distinctions between essential and 
accidental, to make concessions and seek 
readjustment." There speaks the true 

Thus the restatement of theology as it 
is set forth in the writings of Father 
Tyrrell is for the most part an asser- 
tion of this intellectual liberty. It is 
not a body of novel dogmas, but a 
state of mind. It is "a movement, a 
process, a tendency, and not, like Schol- 
asticism, a system the term or * ar- 
rest' of a movement. It is a movement 
away from scholasticism in a variety 
of directions. But whereas in former 
years such movements have been in quest 
of some new position to be occupied as 
final and permanent, Modernism re- 
cognizes movement as itself a permanent 
condition, and seeks only to discover its 
laws and determine its direction. Growth 
is its governing category. In other words, 

it is an attempt to reconcile the essentials 
of Catholic faith with those indisputable 
results of historical criticism which are 
manifestly disastrous to the mediaeval 
synthesis of scholastic theology. It 
does not demand a new theology, or no 
theology at all, but a moving, growing 
theology, a theology carefully distin- 
guished from the religious experience of 
which it is the ever imperfect, ever per- 
fectible expression." 

This explanation at once defines 
Modernism and shows why the disciples 
of Scholasticism inveterately suspect it. 
Scholasticism holds to a formulation of 
theology made by philosophical and 
statistical minds in the Middle Ages. It 
differs from Modernism as Aristotle from 
Plato, or mechanics from art, or a canal 
from a river, or a plotted and planted 
garden from a forest, or a pile of boards 
from a tree. Some people, perhaps tem- 
peramental, are exclusively interested in 
one or the other of these aspects of life. 
Thus the ecclesiastic and the prophet 
look at the world from very different 
points of view. The ecclesiastic prefers 
truth in the form of boards built into neat 
houses, the prophet prefers truth in the 
form of living trees. The two come into 
contention only when one side proposes 
to turn all the trees into boards, or the 
other side proposes to abolish boards 
and return to the old fashion of living 
in caves in the midst of the wild woods. 

For example, Mr. Frederic Harrison, 
in The Creed o) a Layman l and in The 
Philosophy of Common Sense, 2 preaches 
a Human Faith which he finds answer- 
able to his own spiritual needs as a "real, 
vital, sustaining, unfailing, and insepar- 
able religion." He believes in a Provi- 
dence that enters into every side of daily 
life, and in an immortality "wherein our 
feeble span in the flesh will be continued 

1 The Creed of a Layman. By FREDERIC 
HARRISON. New York : The Macmillan Com- 
pany. 1907. 

2 The Philosophy of Common Sense. By 
millan Company. 1907. 

Hillsboro's Good Luck 


as a living force till it is incorporated in 
the great Being which knows not death." 
For this religion, he says, there is no need 
of church or ritual or priest, or even of 
clasped hands or bended knees. The 
blue roof of its universal sanctuary is in- 
laid with stars. But Father Tyrrell points 
out in twenty places that humanity needs 
more than this. The woods, indeed, for 
hermits, for mystics, for rare souls who 
respond to the inaudible influences of the 
Divine Spirit in the fragrance of the 
flowers; but for most of us, duller per- 
sons, houses and churches, which though 
they do shut out the sky, shut out also 
the wind and the rain. 

They who believe that theology ought 
to be as frankly open to restatement as 
biology draw a distinction between the- 
ology and revelation. Revelation is a 
divine and certain disclosure of truth, 

whereby religion has a foundation other 
than the conjectures of philosophers. It 
is variously defined and limited as con- 
sisting generally of the Bible, or of the 
ecumenical creeds, or of the Deposit of 
Faith. But, however defined, it is the 
subject matter with which theology deals. 
The idea of the liberal theologian is that 
revelation and theology are related as the 
mind of man is related to the books of 
the psychologists. Let the psychologists 
study the mind with all the diligence 
they may. Let them report what they dis- 
cover, and submit their reports to the 
test of all honest criticism. Let them 
enjoy the common human privilege of 
making mistakes, and let them correct 
the errors one of another without heat or 
anxiety, and without fear lest truth suffer 
in the process. And let the theologians 
do likewise. 



WHEN the news of Hillsboro's good for- 
tune swept along the highroad there was 
not a person in the other three villages 
of the valley who did not admit that Hills- 
boro' deserved it. Every one said that in 
this case Providence had rewarded true 
merit, Providence being represented by 
Mr. Josiah Camden, king of the Chicago 
wheat pit, whose carelessly bestowed 
bounty meant the happy termination of 
Hillsboro's long and arduous struggles. 

The memory of man could not go back 
to the time when that town had not had a 
public library. It was the pride of the re- 
mote village, lost among the Green Moun- 
tains, that long before Carnegie ever left 
Scotland there had been a collection of 
books free to all in the wing of Deacon 
Bradlaugh's house. Then as now the feat 
was achieved by the united efforts of all 
inhabitants. They boasted that the town 

had never been taxed a cent to keep up the 
library, that not a person had contributed 
a single penny except of his own free will ; 
and it was true that the public spirit of 
the village concentrated itself most har- 
moniously upon this favorite feature of 
their common life. Political strife might 
rage in the grocery stores, religious dif- 
ferences flame high in the vestibule of the 
church, and social distinctions embitter 
the Ladies' Club, but the library was a 
neutral ground where all parties met, 
united by a common and disinterested 

Like all disinterested and generous 
actions it brought its own reward. The 
great social event of the year, not only for 
Hillsboro', but for all the outlying coun- 
try, was the annual "Entertainment for 
buying new books," as it was named on 
the handbills which were welcomed so 


Hillsboro's Good Luck 

eagerly by the snow-bound, monotony- 
ridden inhabitants of the Necronsett Val- 
ley. It usually "ran" three nights so that 
every one could get there, the people from 
over Hemlock Mountain driving twenty 
miles. There was no theatre for forty 
miles, and many a dweller on the Hem- 
lock slopes had never seen a nearer ap- 
proach to one than the town hall of Hills- 
boro' on the great nights of the "Library 

As for Hillsboro' itself, the excitement 
of one effort was scarcely over before 
plans for the next year's were begun. Al- 
though the date was fixed by tradition on 
the three days after Candlemas (known 
as " Woodchuck Day" in the valley), they 
had often decided what the affair should 
be and had begun rehearsals before the 
leaves had turned. There was no corner 
of the great world of dramatic art they 
had not explored, borne up to the loftiest 
regions of endeavor by their touchingly 
unworldly ignorance of their limitations. 
As often happens in such cases they be- 
lieved so ingenuously in their own capa- 
cities that their faith wrought miracles. 

Sometimes they gave a cantata, some- 
times a nigger-minstrel show. The year 
the interior of the town hall was changed, 
they took advantage of the time before 
either the first or second floor was laid, 
and attempted and achieved an indoor 
circus. And the year that an orchestra 
conductor from Albany had to spend the 
winter in the mountains for his lungs, 
they presented // Trovatore. Everybody 
sang, as a matter of course, and those 
whose best efforts in this direction 
brought them no glory had their innings 
the year it was decided to give a play. 

They had done East Lynne and Ham- 
let, Uncle Tom's Cabin and Macbeth, and 
every once in a while the local literary 
man, who was also the undertaker, wrote 
a play based on local traditions. Of 
course they gave The Village School and 
Memory's Garland, and if you don't re- 
member those delectable home-made en- 
tertainments, so much the worse for you. 
It is true that in the allegorical tableau 

at the end of Memory's Garland, the 
wreath, which was of large artificial roses, 
had been made of such generous propor- 
tions that when the Muses placed it on 
the head of slender Elnathan Pritchett, 
representing "The Poet," it slipped over 
his ears, down over his narrow shoulders, 
and sliding rapidly towards the floor was 
only caught by him in time to hold it in 
place upon his stomach. That happened 
only on the first night, of course. The 
other performances it was perfect, lodg- 
ing on his ears with the greatest precision. 

It must not be supposed, however, that 
the responsibilities of Hillsboro' for the 
library ended with the triumphant count- 
ing out of the money after the entertain- 
ment. This sum, the only actual cash ever 
handled by the committee, was exclus- 
ively devoted to the purchase of new 
books. It was the pride of the village that 
everything else was cared for without 
price, by their own enterprise, public 
spirit, and ingenuity. When, the books 
had overflowed the wing of Deacon Brad- 
laugh's house, back in 1869, they were 
given free lodging in the rooms of the 
then newly established and flourishing 
Post of the G. A. R. In 1896 they burst 
from this chrysalis into the whole lower 
floor of the town hall, newly done over for 
the purpose. From their shelves here the 
books looked down benignly on church 
suppers and sociables, and even an occa- 
sional dance. It was the centre of village 
life, the big, low-ceilinged room, its win- 
dows curtained with white muslin, its 
walls bright with fresh paper and colored 
pictures, like any sitting-room in a village 
home. The firewood was contributed, a 
load apiece, by the farmers of the country 
about, and the oil for the lamps was the 
common gift of the three grocery stores. 
There was no carpet, but bright-colored 
rag rugs lay about on the bare floor, and 
it was a point of honor with the Ladies' 
Aid Society o the church to keep these 

The expense of a librarian's salary was 
obviated by the expedient of having no 
librarian. The ladies of Hillsboro' took 

Hillsboro's Good Luck 


turns in presiding over the librarian's 
table, each one's day coming about once 
in three weeks. "Library Day" was as 
fixed an institution in Hillsboro' as "wash 
day, "and there was not a busy housewife 
who did not look forward to the long 
quiet morning spent in dusting and car- 
ing for the worn old books, which were 
like the faces of friends to her, familiar 
from childhood. The afternoon and even- 
ing were more animated, since the library 
had become a sort of common meeting- 
ground. The big, cheerful, sunlighted 
room full of grown-ups and children, talk- 
ing together, even laughing out loud at 
times, did no! look like any sophisticated 
idea of a library, for Hillsboro' was as 
benighted on the subject of the need for 
silence in a reading-room as on all other 
up-to-date library theories. If you were 
so weak-nerved and sickly that the noise 
kept you from reading, you could take 
your book, go into Elzaphan Hall's room 
and shut the door, or you could take your 
book and go home, but you could not ob- 
ject to people being sociable. 

Elzaphan Hall was the janitor, and the 
town's only pauper. He was an old 
G. A. R. man who had come back from 
the war minus an arm and a foot, and 
otherwise so shattered that steady work 
was impossible. In order not to wound 
him by making him feel that he was de- 
pendent on public charity, it had been at 
once settled that he should keep the fire 
going in the library, scrub the floor, and 
keep the room clean in return for his food 
and lodging. He "boarded round" like 
the school-teacher, and slept in a little 
room off the library. In the course of 
years he had grown pathetically and ex- 
asperatingly convinced of his own import- 
ance, but he had been there so long that 
his dictatorial airs and humors were re- 
garded with the unsurprised tolerance 
granted to things of long standing, and 
were forgiven in view of his devotion to 
the best interests of the library, which 
took the place of a family to him. 

As for the expenses of cataloguing, no 
one ever thought of such a thing. Cata- 

logue the books ? Why, as soon hang up 
a list of the family so that you would n't 
forget how many children you had; as 
soon draw a plan of the village so that 
people should not lose their way about. 
Everybody knew what and where the 
books were, as well as they knew what 
and where the fields on their farms were, 
or where the dishes were on the pantry 
shelves. The money from the entertain- 
ment was in hand by the middle of Feb- 
ruary; by April the new books, usually 
about a hundred in number, had arrived ; 
and by June any wide-awake, intelligent 
resident of Hillsboro' would have been 
ashamed to confess that he did not know 
the location of every one. 

The system of placing on the shelves 
was simplicity itself. Each year's new 
acquisitions were kept together, regard- 
less of subject, and located by the name 
of the entertainment which had bought 
them. Thus, if you wished to consult a 
certain book on geology, in which sub- 
ject the library was rich, owing to the 
scientific tastes of Squire Pritchett, you 
were told by the librarian for the day, 
as she looked up from her darning with a 
friendly smile, that it was in the "Uncle 
Tom's Cabin section." The Shakespeare 
set, honorably worn and dog's-eared, 
dated back to the unnamed mass coming 
from early days before things were so 
well systematized, and was said to be in 
the "Old Times section;" whereas Ib- 
sen (for some of Hillsboro's young people 
go away to college) was bright and fresh 
in the "East Lynne section." 

The books were a visible and sincere 
symbol of Hillsboro's past and present. 
The honest, unpretending people had 
bought the books they wished to read, and 
every one's taste was represented, even 
a few French legends and pious tales 
being present as a concession to the Ro- 
man Catholic element among the French 
Canadians. There was a great deal of 
E. P. Roe, there was all of Mrs. South- 
worth is it possible that anywhere 
else in the world there is a complete 
collection of that lady's voluminous pro- 


Hittsboro's Good Luck 

ductions? but beside them stood the 
Elizabethan dramatists and a translation 
of Dante. The men of the town, who after 
they were grown up did not care much 
for fiction, cast their votes for scientific 
treatises on agriculture, forestry, and the 
like; and there was an informal history 
club, consisting of the postmaster, the 
doctor, and the druggist, who bore down 
heavily on history books. The school- 
teacher, the minister, and the priest had 
each, ex officio, the choice of ten books 
with nobody to object, and the children 
in school were allowed another ten with 
no advice from elders. 

It would have made a scientific libra- 
rian faint, the Hillsboro' system, but the 
result was that not a book was bought 
which did not find readers eager to wel- 
come it. A stranger would have turned 
dizzy trying to find his way about, but 
there are no strangers in Hillsboro'. The 
arrival even of a new French-Canadian 
lumberman is a subject of endless dis- 

It can be imagined, therefore, how 
electrified was the village by the appa- 
rition, on a bright June day, of an auto- 
mobile creaking and wheezing its slow 
way to the old tavern. The irritated 
elderly gentleman who stepped out and 
began blaming the chauffeur for the de- 
lay, announced himself to Zadok Foster, 
the tavern-keeper, as Josiah Camden of 
Chicago, and was electrified in his turn 
by the calmness with which that mighty 
name was received. 

During the two days he waited in Hills- 
boro' for the repair of his machine, he 
amused himself first by making sure of 
the incredible fact that nobody in the 
village had ever heard of him, and second 
by learning with an astounded and insa- 
tiable curiosity ah 1 the details of life in this 
forgotten corner of the mountains. It 
was newer and stranger to him than any- 
thing he had seen during his celebrated 
motor-car trip through the Soudan. He 
was stricken speechless by hearing that 
you could rent a whole house (of only 
five rooms, to be sure) and a garden for 

thirty-six dollars a year, and that the 
wealthiest man in the place was supposed 
to have inherited and accumulated the 
vast sum of ten thousand dollars. When 
he heard of the public library he inquired 
quickly how much it cost to run that ? 
Mr. Camden knew from experience some- 
thing about the cost of public libraries. 

"Not a cent," said Zadok Foster 

Mr. Camden came from Chicago and 
not from Missouri, but the involuntary 
exclamation of amazed incredulity which 
burst from his lips "was, "Show me!" 

So they showed him. The denizen of 
the great world entered tKe poor, low- 
ceilinged room, looked around at the 
dreadful chromos on the walls, at the 
cheap, darned muslin .curtains, at the 
gaudy rag rugs, at the shabby, worn 
books in inextricable confusion on the 
shelves, and listened with gleaming eyes 
to the account given by the librarian for 
the day of the years of patient and uncom- 
plaining struggles by which these poverty- 
stricken mountaineers had secured this 
meagre result. He struck one hand into 
the other with a clap. "It's a chance in 
a million!" he cried aloud. 

When his momentous letter came back 
from Chicago, this was still the recurrent 
note, that nowadays it is so hard for a 
poor millionaire to find a deserving object 
for his gifts, that it is the rarest oppor- 
tunity possible when he really with his 
own eyes can make sure of placing his 
money where it will carry on a work al- 
ready begun in the right spirit. He spoke 
in such glowing terms of Hillsboro's 
pathetic endeavors to keep their poor lit- 
tle enterprise going, that Hillsboro', very 
unconscious indeed of being pathetic, 
was bewildered. He said that owing to 
the unusual conditions he would break 
the usual rules governing his benefactions 
and ask no guarantee from the town. He 
begged therefore to have the honor to 
announce that he had already dispatched 
an architect and a contractor to Hills- 
boro', who would look the ground over, 
and put up a thoroughly modern library 

Hillsboro's Good Lack 


building with no expense spared to make 
it complete in equipment; that he had 
already placed to the credit of the " Hills- 
boro' Camden Public Library" a suffi- 
cient sum to maintain in perpetuity a 
well-paid librarian, and to cover all ex- 
penses of fuel, lights, purchase of books, 
cataloguing, etc.; and that the Library 
School in Albany had already an order 
to select a perfectly well-balanced library 
of thirty thousand books to begin with. 

Reason recoils from any attempt to 
portray the excitement of Hillsboro' after 
this letter arrived. To say that it was as 
if a gold mine had been discovered under 
the village green is the feeblest of meta- 
phors. For an entire week the town went 
to bed at night tired out with exclaiming, 
woke in the morning sure it had dreamed 
it all, rushed with a common impulse to 
the post-office where the letter was posted 
on the wall, and fell to exclaiming again. 

Then the architect and contractor ar- 
rived, and with the jealous instinct of 
New Englanders to hide emotions from 
outsiders, Hillsboro' drew back into its 
shell of sombre taciturnity, and acted, the 
contractor told the architect, as though 
they were in the habit of having libraries 
given them three times a week regularly. 

The architect replied that these moun- 
taineers were like Indians. You could n't 
throw a shock into them that would 
make them loosen up any. 

Indeed, this characterization seemed 
just enough, in view of the passive way in 
which Hillsboro' received what was done 
for it during the months which followed. 
It was the passivity of stupefaction, how- 
ever, as one marvel after another was 
revealed to them. The first evening the 
architect sketched the plans of a pictur- 
esque building in the old Norse style, to 
match the romantic scenery of the lovely 
valley. The next morning he located it 
upon a knoll cooled by a steady breeze. 
The contractor made hasty inquiries 
about lumber, labor, and houses for his 
men, found that none of these essentials 
were at hand, decided to import every- 
thing from Albany; and by noon of the 

day after they arrived these two brisk 
young gentlemen had departed, leaving 
Hillsboro' still incredulous of its good 

When they returned ten days later, 
however, they brought solid and visible 
proof in the shape of a train-load of 
building materials and a crowd of Ital- 
ian laborers, who established themselves 
in a boarding-car on a side-track near 
the station. 

"We are going," remarked the con- 
tractor to the architect, "to make the 
dirt fly." 

"We will make things hum," answered 
the architect, "as they've never hummed 
before in this benighted spot." 

And indeed, as up to this time they had 
never hummed at all, it is not surprising 
that Hillsboro' caught its breath as the 
work went forward like Aladdin's pal- 
ace. The corner-stone was laid on the 
third of July, and on the first of October 
the building stood complete. By the first 
of November the books had come, al- 
ready catalogued by the Library School 
and arranged in boxes so that they could 
be put at once upon the shelves; and the 
last details of the interior decoration 
were complete. The architect was in the 
most naive ecstasy of admiration for his 
own taste. The outside was deliciously 
unhackneyed in design, the only repro- 
duction of a Norwegian Stave-Kirke in 
America, he reported to Mr. Camden; 
and while that made the interior a little 
dark, the quaint wooden building was ex- 
quisitely in harmony with the landscape. 
As for the interior, it was a dream ! The 
reading-room-was like the most beauti- 
ful drawing-room, an education in itself, 
done in dark oak, with oriental rugs, 
mission furniture, and reproductions of 
old masters on the walls. Lace sash- 
curtains hung at the windows, covered by 
rich draperies in oriental design, which 
subdued the light to a delightful sober- 
ness. The lamps came from Tiffany's. 

When the young-lady librarian arrived 
from Albany and approved enthusiastic- 
ally of the stack-room and cataloguing, 


Httlsboro's Good Luck 

the architect's cup of satisfaction fairly 
ran over ; and when he went away, leav- 
ing her installed in her handsome oak-fin- 
ished office, hecould hardly refrain from 
embracing her, so exactly the right touch 
did she add to the whole thing with her 
fresh white shirt-waist and pretty, busi- 
ness-like airs. There had been no cere- 
mony of opening, because Mr. Camden 
was so absorbed in an exciting wheat 
deal that he could not think of coming 
East, and indeed the whole transaction 
had been almost blotted from his mind 
by a month's flurried, unsteady market. 
So one day in November the pretty li- 
brarian walked into her office, and the 
Hillsboro' Camden Public Library was 

She was a very pretty librarian indeed, 
and she wore her tailor suits with an air 
which made the village girls look un- 
easily into their mirrors and made the 
village boys look after her as she passed . 
She was moreover as permeated with the 
missionary fervor instilled into her at the 
Library School as she was pretty, and 
she began at once to practice all the latest 
devices for automatically turning a be- 
nighted community into the latest thing in 
culture. When Mrs. Bradlaugh, wife of 
the deacon and president of the Ladies' 
Aid Society, was confined to the house 
with a cold, she sent over to the library, as 
was her wont in such cases, for some, en- 
tertaining story to while away her tedious 
convalescence. Miss Martin sent back 
one of Henry James's novels, and was 
surprised that Mrs. Bradlaugh made no 
second attempt to use the library. When 
the little girls in school asked for the 
Elsie books, she answered with a glow 
of pride that the library did not possess 
one of those silly stories, and offered as 
substitute, Greek Myths for Children. 

Squire Pritchett came, in a great hurry, 
one morning, and asked for his favorite 
condensed handbook of geology, in order 
to identify a stone. He was told that it 
was entirely out of date and very incom- 
plete, and the library did not own it, and 
he was referred to the drawer in the card 

catalogue relating to geology. For a time 
his stubbed old fingers fumbled among 
the cards, with an ever-rising flood of 
baffled exasperation. How could he tell 
by looking at a strange name on a little 
piece of paper whether the book it repre- 
sented would tell him about a stone out 
of his gravel-pit! Finally he appealed to 
the librarian, who proclaimed on all oc- 
casions her eagerness to help inquirers, 
and she referred him to a handsome great 
Encyclopedia of Geology in forty-seven 
volumes. He wandered around hopeless- 
ly in this for about an hour, and in the 
end retreated unenlightened. Miss Mar- 
tin tried to help him in his search, but, 
half-amused by his rustic ignorance, she 
asked him finally, with an air of gentle 
patience, "how, if he did n't know any of 
the scientific names, he expected to be 
able to look up a subject in an alphabeti- 
cally arranged book?" Squire Pritchett 
never entered the library again. His 
son Elnathan might be caught by her 
airs and graces, he said rudely enough 
in the post-office, but he was "too old to 
be talked down to by a chit who did n't 
know granite from marble." 

When the schoolboys asked for Nick 
Carter she gave them those classics, The 
Rollo Books ; and to the French Cana- 
dians she gave, reasonably enough, the 
acknowledged masters of their language, 
Voltaire, Balzac, and Flaubert, till the 
horrified priest forbade from the pulpit 
any of his simple-minded flock to enter 
"that temple of sin, the public library." 
She had little classes in art criticism for 
the young ladies in town, explaining to 
them with sweet lucidity why the Botti- 
cellis and Rembrandts and Diirers were 
better than the chromos which still hung 
on the walls of the old library, now cold 
and deserted except for church suppers 
and sociables, which were never held in 
the new reading-room, the oriental rugs 
being much too fine to have doughnut 
crumbs and coffee spilled on them. 
After a time, however, the young ladies 
told her that they found themselves too 
busy getting the missionary barrels ready 

Hillsboro's Good Luck 


to continue absorbing information about 
Botticelli's rhythm and Durer's line. 

Miss Martin was not only pretty and 
competent, but she was firm of purpose, 
as was shown by her encounter with El- 
zaphan Hall who had domineered over 
two generations of amateur librarians. 
The old man had received strict orders 
to preserve silence in the reading-room 
when the librarian could not be there, and 
yet one day she returned from the stack- 
room to find the place in a most shock- 
ing state of confusion. Everybody was 
laughing, Elzaphan himself most of all, 
and they did not stop when she brought 
her severe young face among them. El- 
zaphan explained, waving his hand at a 
dark Rembrandt looking gloomily down 
upon them, that Elnathan Pritchett had 
said that if he had such a dirty face as 
that he'd wash it, if he had to go as far 
as from here to the Eagle Rock Spring to 
get the water! This seemed the dullest 
of bucolic wit to Miss Martin, and she 
chilled Elnathan to the marrow by her sad 
gaze of disappointment in him. Jennie 
Foster was very jealous of Miss Martin 
(as were all the girls in town), and she 
rejoiced openly in Elnathan's witticism, 
continuing to laugh at intervals after the 
rest of the room had cowered into silence 
under the librarian's eye. 

Miss Martin took the old janitor aside 
and told him sternly that if such a thing 
happened again she would dismiss him; 
and when the old man, crazily trying to 
show his spirit, allowed a spelling-match 
to go on, full blast, right in library hours, 
she did dismiss him, drawing on the end- 
less funds at her disposal to import a 
young Irishman from Albany, who was 
soon playing havoc with the pretty French- 
Canadian girls. Elzaphan Hall, stunned 
by the blow, fell into bad company and 
began to drink heavily, paying for his 
liquor by exceedingly comic and disre- 
spectful imitations of Miss Martin's talks 
on art. 

It was now about the middle of the 
winter, and the knoll which in June had 
been the centre of gratefully cool breezes 

was raked by piercing north winds which 
penetrated the picturesquely unplastered, 
wood-finished walls as though they had 
been paper. The steam-heating plant did 
not work very well, and the new janitor, 
seeing fewer and fewer people come to the 
reading-room, spent less and less time 
in struggling with the boilers, or in keep- 
ing the long path up the hill shoveled 
clear of snow. Miss Martin, positively 
frightened by the ferocity with which 
winter flings itself upon the high narrow 
valley, was helpless before the problem 
of the new conditions, and could think of 
nothing to do except to buy more fuel and 
yet more, and to beseech the elusive Celt, 
city-trained in plausible excuses for not 
doing his duty, to burn more wood. Once 
she remarked plaintively to Elnathan 
Pritchett, as she sat beside him at a 
church supper (for she made a great 
point of * ' mingling with the people ") , that 
it seemed to her there must be something 
the matter with the wood in Hillsboro'. 
Everybody within earshot laughed, and 
the saying was repeated the next day 
with shameless mirth as the best joke of 
the season. For the wood for the library 
had had a history distinctly discreditable 
and as distinctly ludicrous, at which Hills- 
boro' people laughed with a conscious 
lowering of their standards of honesty. 
The beginning had been an accident, but 
the long sequence was not. For the first 
time in the history of the library, the farm- 
er who brought the first load of wood pre- 
sented a bill for this service. He charged 
two dollars a cord on the scrawled mem- 
orandum, but Miss Martin mistook this 
figure for a seven, corrected his total 
with the kindest tolerance for his faulty 
arithmetic, and gave the countryman a 
check which reduced him for a time to 
a paralyzed silence. It was only on 
telling the first person he met outside 
the library, that the richness of a grown 
person knowing no more than that about 
the price of wood came over him, and 
the two screamed with laughter over the 
lady's beautifully formed figures on the 
dirty sheet of paper. 


Hillsboro's Good Luck 

Miss Martin took the hesitating awk- 
wardness of the next man presenting 
himself before her, not daring to ask the 
higher price and not willing to take the 
lower, for rustic bashfulness, and put him 
at his ease by saying airily, "Five cords ? 
That makes thirty-five dollars. I always 
pay seven dollars a cord.'* After that, the 
procession of grinning men driving lum- 
ber-sleds towards the library became in- 
cessant. The minister attempted to re- 
monstrate with the respectable men of his 
church for cheating a poor young lady, 
but they answered roughly that it was n't 
her money but Camden's, who had tossed 
them the library as a man would toss 
a penny to a beggar, who had now quite 
forgotten about them, and, finally, who 
had made his money none too honestly. 

Since he had become of so much im- 
portance to them they had looked up his 
successful career in the Chicago wheat 
pit, and, undazzled by the millions in- 
volved, had penetrated shrewdly to the 
significance of his operations. The record 
of his colossal and unpunished frauds 
had put to sleep, so far as he was con- 
cerned, their old minute honesty. It was 
considered the best of satires that the 
man who had fooled all the West should 
be fooled in his turn by a handful of 
forgotten mountaineers, that they should 
be fleecing him in little things as he had 
fleeced Chicago in great. There was, 
however, an element which frowned on 
this shifting of standards, and, before 
long, neighbors and old friends were 
divided into cliques, calling each other, 
respectively, cheats and hypocrites. 

Hillsboro* was intolerably dull that 
winter because of the absence of the 
usual excitement over the entertainment, 
and in the stagnation all attention was 
directed to the new joke on the wheat 
king. It was turned over and over, for- 
wards and back, and refurbished and 
made to do duty again and again, after 
the fashion of rustic jokes. This one had 
the additional advantage of lining the 
pockets of the perpetrators. They egged 
one another on to fresh inventions and 

variations, until even the children, not 
to be left out, began to have exploits of 
their own to tell. The grocers raised the 
price of kerosene, groaning all the time 
at the extortions of the oil trust, till 
the guileless guardian of Mr. Camden's 
funds was paying fifty cents a gallon for 
it. The boys charged a quarter for every 
bouquet of pine-boughs they brought to 
decorate the cold, empty reading-room. 
The wash-woman charged five dollars 
for "doing-up" the lace sash-curtains. 
As spring came on, and the damages 
wrought by the winter winds must be 
repaired, the carpenters asked wages 
which made the sellers of firewood tear 
their hair at wasted opportunities. They 
might have raised the price per cord! 
The new janitor, hearing the talk about 
town, demanded a raise in salary and 
threatened to leave without warning if it 
were not granted. 

It was on the fifth of June, a year to a 
day after the arrival of Mr. Camden in 
his automobile, that Miss Martin yielded 
to this last extortion, and her action made 
the day as memorable as that of the year 
before. The janitor, carried away by his 
victory, celebrated his good fortune in so 
many glasses of hard cider that he was 
finally carried home and deposited limply 
on the veranda of his boarding-house. 
Here he slept till the cold of dawn awoke 
him to a knowledge of his whereabouts, 
so inverted and tipsy that he rose, stag- 
gered to the library, cursing the intoler- 
able length of these damn Vermont win- 
ters, and proceeded to build a roaring fire 
on the floor of the reading-room. As the 
varnished wood of the beautiful fittings 
took light like a well-constructed bon- 
fire, realization of his act came to him, 
and he ran down the valley road, scream- 
ing and giving the alarm at the top of his 
lungs, and so passed out of Hillsboro* 

The village looked out of its windows, 
saw the wooden building blazing like a 
great torch, hurried on its clothes, and 
collected around the fire. No effort was 
made to save the library. People stood 

Hillsboro's Good Luck 


around in the chilly morning air, look- 
ing silently at the mountain of flame 
which burned as though it would never 
stop. They thought of a great many 
things in that silent hour as the sun rose 
over Hemlock Mountain, and there were 
no smiles on their faces. They are ignor- 
ant and narrow people in Hillsboro', but 
they have an inborn capacity unsparing- 
ly to look facts in the face. 

When the last beam had fallen in with 
a crash to the blackened cellar-hole, Miss 
Martin, very pale and shaken, stepped 
bravely forward. "I know how terribly 
you must be feeling about this," she 
began in her carefully modulated voice, 
"but I want to assure you that I know 
Mr. Camden will rebuild the library for 
you if" 

She was interrupted by the chief man 
of the town, Squire Pritchett, who be- 
gan speaking with a sort of bellow only 
heard before in exciting moments in 
town-meeting. "May I never live to see 
the day!" he shouted; and from all the 
tongue-tied villagers there rose a murmur 
of relief at having found a voice. They 
pressed about him closely and drank in 
his dry, curt announcement: "As select- 
man I shall write Mr. Camden, tell him 
of the fire, thank him for his kindness, 
and inform him that we don't want any 
more of it." Everybody nodded. "I 
don't know whether his money is what 
they call tainted or not, but there's one 
thing sure, it ain't done us any good." 
He passed his hand over his unshaven 
jaw with a rasping wipe and smiled grimly 
as he concluded, "I'm no hand to stir 
up law-breakin' and disorder, but I want 
to say right here that I'll never inform 
against any Hillsboro' man who keeps 
the next automobile out of town, if he 
has to take a axe to it!" 

People laughed, and neighbors who 
had not spoken to one another since the 
quarrel over the price of wood, fell into 
murmured, approving talk. 

Elnathan Pritchett, blushing and hesi- 
tating, twitched at his father's sleeve. 
"But father Miss Martin We 're 
keeping her out of a position." 

That young lady made one more effort 
to reach these impenetrable people. "I 
was about to resign," she said with dig- 
nity. " I am going to marry the assistant 
to the head of the Department of Bib- 
liography at Albany." 

The only answer to this imposing an- 
nouncement was a giggle from Jennie 
Foster, to whose side Elnathan now fell 
back, silenced. 

People began to move away in little 
knots, talking as they went. Elzaphan 
Hall stumped hastily down the street to 
the town hall, and was standing in the 
open door as the first group passed him. 

"Here, Mis' Foster, you're forgittin' 
somethin'," he said roughly, with his old 
surly, dictatorial air. "This is your day 
to the library." 

Mrs. Foster hesitated, laughing at the 
old man's manner. "It seems foolish, 
but I don't know why notl" she said. 
"Jennie, you run on over home and 
bring me a dusting-cloth and a broom 
for Elzaphan. The books must be in a 
nawfid state!" 

When Jennie came back, a knot of 
women stood before the door, talking to 
her mother and looking back at the 
smouldering ruins. The girl followed the 
direction of their eyes and of their 
thoughts. "I don't believe but what we 
can plant woodbine and things around 
it so that in a month's time you won't 
know there's been anything there!" she 
said hopefully. 



THERE are surely no more noble- 
minded persons alive than the man and 
wife who point the moral of this tale. 
Though they live in a palace of art, sur- 
rounded by treasures which kings might 
covet, rarities unexcelled, unique, price- 
less, yet they live with an austerity which 
cloistered nuns would call a hardship 
and all for conscience* sake. Fish ? meat ? 
They have tasted neither for many years. 
No gloves of leather are on their hands ; 
no shoes of leather are on their feet; no 
dress of silk or wool. Nothing but cotton 
or linen for them. In the stern purity of 
then' self-denial they refuse butter and 
eggs and milk. A plain dish of boiled 
carrots, some olive oil, a few nuts, a lit- 
tle savory relish dressed with sweet herbs, 
is their fare. Compassion is their creed, 
and in nothing that demands bloodshed 
or cruelty will they share. There is some- 
thing so lofty in their asceticism that I 
cannot speak of it without admiration. It 
is one of the beautiful follies of the world, 
deserving its own shrine, to which might 
journey troops of pilgrims anxious to ob- 
tain the purity of heart which these two 
typify in their refusal to be stained with 
the blood of beasts, in their resolve to be 
free from entailing any suffering upon 
any creature. 

And yet I find a flaw in all their self- 
denial, the folly of the sentimentalist. 
He is a man to beware, if he be under 
fifty, because he always knows too little 
to be trusted. His judgment is not sound. 
His grip on facts is but a fumble, and half 
of his self-sacrifice is worthless because it 
lacks sense. The fundamental trouble 
with the sentimentalist is his ignorance of 
common facts. Why do my friends refuse 
milk ? It would deprive the young calf of 
his natural nourishment and we should 


get veal in consequence. Quite useless to 
remind them of the objectionable domes- 
tic character of most veal creatures when 
grown up; wholly so to remark that the 
remnant saved live and grow up to be 
thriving cows. With the actual facts they 
have no concern; nothing satisfies them 
but the total emancipation of the cow and 
a full regard for her rights of motherhood. 
(They have no children themselves.) But- 
ter and milk are off the programme of the 
world's foods already, and they hasten 
the day of the cow released from servi- 
tude, quite free to make her own shelter 
in winter and browse or starve in liberty. 
But why are eggs denied ? An egg in the 
course of nature hatches out into a happy, 
fluffy little chicken, and fried eggs for 
breakfast means so many little lives cut 
off from the joys of existence. (There are 
no happy little children in their home.) 
It is indelicate to remind my noble-mind- 
ed friends of the fundamental facts of life, 
to hint to them that an unfertilized egg 
and a cold boiled potato stand an equal 
chance of producing fluffy little chickens. 
They will deny themselves eggs. And 
eggs are off the list, from simple ignor- 
ance of nature's laws. Indeed, ignorance 
seems to be a large part of the game. It 
would be quite impossible to play it so 
vigorously if the light were let in ever so 

But what causes me to marvel is the 
complacency with which my friends dress 
in cotton. Cotton! Of all the blood-dyed 
fabrics wherewith men have invested 
themselves is there another so red with 
human woe as cotton cloth ? There have 
been times when every yard of it was 
grained with the life-blood of a human 
being. From the slave who raised the 
plant to the English spinner waiting, 
starving for it by his idle loom, from the 
hectic woman breathing lint in the mill 
and the child robbed of health and child- 

The Contributors 9 Club 


hood and hope, what a world of woe has 
been woven into the fruitage of the cot- 
ton loom ! The wool my friends refuse to 
wear, the sheep would have pulled out in 
tag-locks on every bramble before the 
summer was flown; the silk they deny 
themselves could, at the worst, have cost 
only a sleeping life in the chrysalis which 
could never have waked to more than a 
brief, passionate span of searching for a 
mate; and, at the best, a cunning chemis- 
try might have made it without the silk- 
worm's help. But cotton cloth! I can 
but wish sometimes that, before they re- 
tired from the world, my friends of the 
palace of art might have seen a southern 
cotton mill understandiiigly ; that they 
might have been, even as I have been, a 
dweller in northern mill towns when the 
price of cotton cloth was down, and the 
great mills first ran short time, and then 
closed, and want and starvation stared 
the worker in the face. Then they might 
have hesitated before the choice present- 
ed them ; they might still have worn cot- 
ton, but not with complacency, and they 
might perhaps have come to live in a 
world of men and women where we face 
the facts the best we may and count our- 
selves happy if we can face them and still 
keep our courage. But they could never 
have haggled with their consciences as to 
the degree of wrong involved in silk and 
wool and cotton and leather and butter 
and milk and eggs; they would have 
known good and evil by eating of the tree 
of knowledge, which grows only among 
living men. Perhaps one of the ripest 
fruits of that tree, because the highest up, 
is the knowledge that some things, be- 
side some others, are not worth while. 
The instance is extreme. The worth of 
it is that it is not too extreme to be possi- 
ble. It shows the tendency of the senti- 
mentalist, the maggot in his brain, which, 
like the knight of La Mancha's, drives 
him to tilt with giants whose nature he 
only partially perceives. It would be 
quite as well if he recognized the wind- 
mill by its real name. The sentimental- 
ist rarely knows the facts; and, more- 

over, he seldom cares to listen to those 
who do know them. But it is the uncom- 
fortable art of the sentimentalist to make 
the man who differs feel that he is hard- 
hearted. Last winter a kind lady in Bos- 
ton wrote the press that the pigeons of the 
city were suffering because their poor, 
bare little feet had no protection from the 
cold stones. After that, what kind-hearted 
man could fail to feel a trifle guilty for 
leaving them without stockings in the 
bitter weather ? Freezing its feet is one of 
the rarest accidents that happen to a wild 
bird, but I never see the pigeons strutting 
on the cold, cold stones without noticing 
how red their feet look! They make me 
uncomfortable; I shall come to hate their 
bare-footed audacity some day. 

After all, the only sentimentalist who 
carries much weight is the reformed bad 
character. When he can prove that he 
was an ardent and successful hunter or 
fisherman and that he voluntarily left the 
sport while he still enjoyed it, the world 
will listen to him. The man who never 
liked the taste of liquor is not the best ad- 
vocate of temperance with the hardened 
sinner who does like it. Know the game, 
and then reform provided always you 
do it while you are young. It is no credit 
to a man to have overcome his taste for 
stolen apples and watermelon at sixty; 
nature should have eliminated the desire 
long before. In like manner there comes 
a period in a man's life when the active 
hunter settles naturally into the contem- 
plative observer. It is after dinner now 
in life; he has had his fill. If he becomes 
a sentimentalist then, it is sweet and com- 
mendable in his nature, but it does not 
argue that the younger man should feel 
the same. 

While it is well to "love the wood-rose 
and leave it on its stalk," no man ever be- 
came a botanist by so doing. Exact know- 
ledge cannot be obtained by traveling 
the sentimentalist's route. Indeed, a great 
part of the sentimentalist's contributions 
to natural history are properly filed un- 
der "Rubbish." "Better the sight of the 
eye than the wandering of the desire," 


The Contributors' Club 

said the wise old Preacher; better exact 
and definite information, even though 
the boy or man kill the beast or bird, 
than the slipshod accomplishment so 
often passed on for information. And, 
even as a sport, hunting and fishing are 
not without their uses. My own boy is of 
the age to go a-fishing, and with my good 
speed he shall go. . Let him come home 
wet and tired and dirty, with a tiny string 
of witless little fish; surely they deserved 
to be caught by a tyro, and in learning 
to shift for himself he has caught some- 
thing more than fish. He is a natural 
boy, and I know what to do with him; 
but if he were a sentimentalist before his 
teens, I confess I should despair of ever 
making a man of him. 


DID you ever stop to examine the ex- 
pression on the face of a fish ? I do not 
mean of some notoriously grotesque fish, 
but of just any plain seafaring fish. I 
confess that the fascination for me is the 
same, whether I stand in front of some 
great collection of little monstrosities like 
that in the Naples aquarium, or whether 
I sit by my dining-room window and con- 
template the gold-fish -in my little boy's 
glass bowl. People watch the monkeys 
at the Zoo and remark how human they 
are, how sly and crafty the old ones, how 
" cute " and playful the young ones. But 
for steady company give me the fish. 
How restful they are with their mouth- 
ings, as regular as if they were governed 
by a balance-wheel ! How quiet, too, for 
not one word of murmured protest or of 
chattering fault-finding do they inflict 
upon us! How philosophical, as they 
bask in the sun the livelong day or seek 
the occasional shade of the modest sprig 
of greens which forms the conventional 
garnishing of their watery abode! How 
easily gratified are their simple tastes! 
Surely with their good manners, their 
quiet deportment, and their stoical bear- 
ing, gold-fish are the ideal companions 
of the mature man. Monkeys and dogs 

and kittens may amuse the children by 
their tricks and antics, but only the 
grown man can appreciate the solid quali- 
ties of the fish's character as written upon 
his features. 

Not long ago I turned to my old text- 
books of natural history to see what the 
nature students had to say about the 
facial expression of fish. Would you be- 
lieve it? There were pages about the 
bone structure of the creature, his scales 
and his fins, all having to do with his 
physical fitness for the peculiar kind of 
navigating through life that he is called 
upon to perform. But not one word was 
said about the features of his face, that 
racial expression of receptivity and of 
philosophical candor which is a constant 
sermon and inspiration to the thoughtful 
observer. I put this down as one more 
failure of the scientists to explain what 
poor humanity really wants to know. 
What do we care about the adaptability 
of the fish's body to the element for which 
he was created or to which he has been 
banished ? When it comes to construct- 
ing flying-machines, we may well study 
the structure of the bird's wings. But did 
any one ever learn to swim by watching 
a fish ? Seriously, can any one look a fish 
in the face and not admit that there lies 
the highest expression of the creature's 
nature? All the rest of the body is the 
mere machinery for getting about. One 
wonders why Izaak Walton, that lover of 
the trout and grayling, did not write one 
of his inimitable chapters on his little 
fishes' faces. Or rather one wonders how 
Piscator could go on catching and cook- 
ing harmless creatures who had done no 
harm to God or man, and whose wonder- 
ing faces are a constant rebuke to the 
passion of their cruel captors. Doubtless 
our fish-mongers and cooks take good 
care to remove the death-head of our 
morning purchase before it appears on 
the table, knowing full well that our ap- 
petite would perish if forced to confront 
the cold staring eye and the mouth at last 
stilled in death. 

But to return to the expression of the 

The Contributors' Club 


living fish. There are only a few animals 
that may be said to have any facial ex- 
pression worthy of the -name. The rab- 
bit's prominent feature is his flexible 
nose; the cow and the deer melt you with 
their great soft eyes ; the owl sounds our 
very being from the bottomless depths of 
his great orbs ; the dog and the horse find 
expression in the movements of their 
head and tail. But when I think of these 
fish, my memory goes back for a parallel 
to the " ships of the desert," those melan- 
choly and patient camels hobbled for the 
night and chewing their cud in the mar- 
ket-place at Tangiers. There is the same 
philosophical rumination, the same sto- 
ical determination to make the best of it. 
The mouth expresses it all. 

There have been those superficial ob- 
servers who think that the fish is a fool, 
that he has no brains. " Ignorant comme 
une carpe," say the French. Well, I can 
only say that I have seen many a boy on 
the benches at school whose expression 
after a copious dinner would compare 
unfavorably with that of a fish. I have 
an idea that one of my little gold-fish does 
not miss much of what is going on. Move 
where I may, his eye follows me like that 
of a horse. And as for his mouth, well, 
I can't help coming back to the mouth. 
You simply can't escape it. He seems to 
be all mouth. Yet, his is not the mouth 
of indiscriminate greed, or of the vulgar 
gum-chewer. He chews as if his very life 
depended upon it (and indeed it does), 
as if he were determined not to let one 
atom that comes his way from the out- 
side world escape him. All the useless 
chaff, all the buzz-buzz from without, 
may be said to go in one ear and out the 
other. But what is worth while he keeps 
with fine discrimination to build into that 
graceful body, and to deepen that look of 
philosophical dignity which I envy but 
cannot emulate. 

You cannot pet a fish ; you cannot pull 
his tail, and tie up his neck with ribbons, 
and whisper sweet nothings in his ear, 
as ladies do with poodle-dogs. He is away 
above that sort of thing. He would not 

stand for that kind of nonsense, and I 
respect him for his personal dignity. 
His nature does not lend itself kindly to 
slavery, no matter how fair may be the 

Somehow, then, I feel that one of these 
fishes knows a deal more about the se- 
crets of the universe there in his watery 
element than we do with all our loud 
chatter and our airy boastings. When I 
consider his simplicity, his regularity, his 
dignity, his receptive expression, I am 
sure that he is a philosopher, and my 
heart, like that of Saint Francis, goes out 
in sympathy to this little brother. 


I HAVE always felt a profound sympa- 
thy for characters in fiction who are evi- 
dently disliked by their authors. Theirs 
is perhaps the most miserable of all hu- 
man lots. To be disliked by a parent 
would be sufficiently painful; but these 
wretches are in the state of children dis- 
liked by a parent who has complete con- 
trol over their every word and act, who is 
their sole reporter and interpreter, and 
who has unlimited power to punish. They 
are much in the condition of those un- 
happy ones who in the old Calvinistic 
theology were predestined by their Crea- 
tor to damnation. In one respect the 
Calvinistic non-elect had the advantage : 
they might find consolation in reflecting 
that they were sacrificed by Inscrutable 
Justice, whereas their brothers and sis- 
ters in fiction seem often the victims of 
very human prejudice or whim. 

This imperfect sympathy between cre- 
ator and creation in fiction is most com- 
monly seen, I think, in novels written 
by women. Various cynical wits and epi- 
grammatists have hinted that women do 
not tend to sympathize keenly with one 
another, and a good many things both 
in life and literature seem to bear out 
the imputation. A year or two ago I was 
standing on the rear platform of a crowd- 
ed street-car in a large city. All the 
seats in the car were occupied by women, 


The Contributors' Club 

most of them well-dressed, many of them 
young. An old woman, plainly dressed, 
with a crutch and a large bundle, got on 
the car. No one offered to give her a 
seat; not one even moved. At last the 
conductor, by forcing the women on one 
side of the car to crowd closer together, 
succeeded in securing for the old woman 
a few inches on the edge of a seat. The 
incident is of course conclusive of nothing, 
but it sets one thinking. Is it a similar 
(if much more refined) lack of generosity 
toward others of their own sex that causes 
even the great women novelists some- 
times to seem unfair to the women in their 
stories ? 

I am a warm admirer of Jane Austen ; 
but I nearly always lose my temper when 
I try to read Mansfield Park. I cannot 
believe that Mary Crawford is as selfish 
or base as the novelist insists on making 
her appear. When Mary meets the " Mr. 
Bertrams," for instance, she prefers Tom, 
the elder, to Edmund, as any sensible girl 
would, Edmund being an intolerable 
prig. Miss Austen interprets this prefer- 
ence in the worst possible light. " She 
has felt an early presentiment that she 
should like the eldest best. She knew it 
was her way.'* I have never quite for- 
given Miss Austen for using so human 
and delightful a girl as Mary merely to 
set off the virtues of that tediously un- 
impeachable little martyr, Fanny Price. 
Few novelists, men or women, have 
been broader in their sympathies than 
George Eliot; yet it seems impossible for 
her to like her heroines if they are pretty. 
I have always felt that a little less than 
justice is done to Hetty in Adam Bede. 
Certainly not much mercy is shown her ; 
and one gets rather tired of the eternal 
contrast between her and Dinah, and 
wishes that Dinah were not quite so pale 
and spiritual. I am more doubtful about 
Rosamond Vincy; but I have an uncom- 
fortable feeling that in her creator's eyes 
her prettiness is her gravest sin. I cannot 

help wondering how Thackeray's Amelia 
would have fared in George Eliot's hands. 
In reading The House of Mirth I con- 
stantly felt that Lily Bart must be either 
a good deal better or a good deal worse 
than she is represented. Since her crea- 
tor seems to dislike her, it is plausible as 
well as charitable to suppose that she is 
not so black as she is painted. A woman 
who has the occasional good impulses 
and gleams of true insight that the novel- 
ist rather grudgingly grants to Lily, must, 
one would think, make a greater effort 
to follow them than Lily is allowed to 
make. I feel a similar doubt about Bes- 
sie Amherst, in The Fruit of the Tree, and 
wish I could read another version of the 
story, told from Bessie's point of view. 
It might be fairer, as well as less un- 
chivalrous, to attribute these imperfect 
sympathies to a moral bias of the novel- 
ists. Yet the fact remains that human 
nature excuses the sins of people it likes, 
and reserves its moral indignation for the 
faults of those whom it dislikes; so that 
after all we seem to come back to a basis 
of natural antipathies. 

I do not like thee, Dr. Fell, 
The reason why I cannot tell. 

Not many writers are " of a constitu- 
tion so general that it consorts and sym- 
pathizeth with all " and is untouched 
by " those natural repugnancies," or 
have the power which Browning showed 
in Mr. Sludge the Medium of represent- 
ing with perfect sympathy a character 
they detest. I wish not so much to as- 
certain the motives of the injustice as 
to plead for the injured, who have to 
contend not only with destiny and their 
own innate wickedness, but with the con- 
stant hostility of their creators. Consid- 
ered in this light, how tragic is the career 
of Rosamond Vincy or of Bessie Am*- 
herst! No protagonist of Greek drama is 
so cruelly overmatched by Fate, or de- 
mands our sympathy with so urgent an 



AUGUST, 1908 


The World 's my book, with two leaves spread, 
One under foot one overhead ; 
The text runs true to each man's need ; 
Let him who will go forth and read. 

THAN this black Bully, I never knew 
an ox that was an abler near wheeler 
never a one that could sit back with such 
bull-dogged determination and put the 
brakes on a string of wild, wrong-headed 
Texas steers. One would not think there 
could be so much will-power in a mortal 

He was none of your gaunt, ungainly, 
ridge-back cattle; he lived comfortably 
in a roomy physique and had legs like 
posts at the four corners of himself. His 
neck was finely wrinkled and fissured 
with extra pelt, as if Nature had calcu- 
lated on letting out the tucks, not know- 
ing how big he might grow. He had a 
wealth of swinging dewlap that swept 
the flowers as he passed; it looked as if 
he were growing sole leather as a by- 
product, an extraneous animal fruit of 
himself. In fact, for a steer, he was gen- 
erously endowed with everything bovine ; 
he looked the bull en bon point. Nature 
had put on his horns the rings of four 

With all his bench-legged solidity, he 
was not clumsy ; he was perfectly muscled, 
from the end of his calfish nose to the 
tassel of his lion-like tapering tail. His 
seat of power seemed to be in his built-up 
neck; and it was because of this gristly 
mass of neck that he was called Bully ; 
for even though he was a steer he had 
the mien and make of a sire of the herd. 
From that neck his ship-shape lines 
spread out expansively to his four- 
VOL. 102 -NO. 2 

stomach middle, slid off over neat loins, 
and dwindled away in his tail. Withal 
he was wise and Juno-eyed and guile- 
less as a calf. 

His hair lay sleek and short, he was 
largely Spanish, and that was a great 
satisfaction to me. I have seen the dust 
fly out of his yoke-mate, Brig, in a way 
that made me think I was beating a 
carpet, and so it was a comfort to observe 
that I had one ox that cleaned himself 
automatically and kept an ebon smooth- 
ness. For bovine nobility, general bull- 
comeliness, he would have stood out 
among a herd but that might be said 
of any steer that is selected for a near 

On evenings when we had been break- 
ing prairie far from home, and I was 
tired sitting on the iron seat, I would 
mount him and go home ox-back. Or 
I would go out in the morning and mount 
him en pasture, bring him home to the 
plough, and thence proceed leisurely 
across the open to the farm we were 
making. It is different from riding a 
broncho less up and down and more 
round and round. It is, in truth, the 
nearest approach to motion in all direc- 
tions at once. At every step of the rolling, 
weltering gait, your leg is softly com- 
pressed between his swinging paunch and 
that of his partner; thus you go along 
for miles, knee deep in ox. .This feeling 
of the muscular labor of a ponderous 
bull makes it less like riding than trans- 
portation ; like sitting atop a load of life. 

He had a barrel-like body and a plat- 
form of a back; and I have thought, at 
such times, that he would have been fit 


The Story of Bully 

for the cavalry or rather the bullery 
of an African king. Certain of the Ethi- 
opian potentates use the bull in battle; 
and I am sure that if he had ever tried 
this particular bayoneted steed, old 
Mushwush would not have parted with 
him for anything. For cavalry purposes 
he would have had to use Bully (after the 
African practice) with a cincture, using 
a girth to ride bareback. A horse has his 
pelt fairly well fastened to him, so that 
if you stick to his hide you stay on the 
horse; but a bull is loosely clothed in 
his. Therefore the results are entirely 
different. Hence the African practice; 
and it is my opinion that to have used 
Bully with perfect success in the cavalry 
it would have been necessary to use two 
cinctures a girth fore and aft to 
belt his hide on. 

However, for straight traveling, with- 
out much evolution, a person who was 
a little used to ox-equitation found him 
a very good rocking-chair. A woman, 
I think, could have made out on him 
by sitting far forward and taking hold 
of a horn ; but a man was more fit for 
him, being a sort of clothes-pin to his 
loose mantle. 

The walnut beam of his yoke came 
down to Texas with some settler from 
the North, and was carved with Yankee 
care; and when I scraped down its an- 
cient surface to the wine-colored wood, 
my near wheeler and his mate looked 
handsome in it. It was a well-modeled 
yoke, too; the rest of them labored 
against mere hacked-out timbers. Jeff 
Benson (the Texan to whom he previ- 
ously belonged) had ornamented the 
yoke, in front of the eye-bolt, with a 
Lone Star of brass-headed tacks ; and the 
ends of it were further decorated with 
tin tobacco tags by the same artist. It 
was a distinctive yoke, a fit recognition 
of his superiority; and it sat upon his 
neck as so much jewelry from which 
depended the trifle of a log chain. 

This mention of Jeff reminds me of a 
tug of war that Bully was engaged in by 
the man who trained him for it was 

Jeff that caught him wild and made an 
ox of him. Jeff was rather argumentative 
in a dry way and patriotic to his own 
" string " he was a tall, wiry, typical 
Texan, which is possibly sufficient de- 
scription. He had, I might add, a slight 
brisket under his chin (like an ox), he 
chewed the cud, and spat, and Nature 
in her wisdom had gifted him with big 
hearty eloquence in certain words that 
oxen consider their favorite epithets. 
He was one of the race that seems to 
have been specially provided to " bust " 
the soil and blaze the way for culture. 

Jeff, being bound with his string for a 
certain location on the prairie designated 
by four surveyors' stakes, the bounda- 
ries of the farm he was to make, came 
past the Colonel's place where Bill Pierce 
was putting on an addition of a few acres. 

" Bet you he can." 

" Bet you he can't." 

" Bet you a dollar and a quarter he 

The point was, whether Jeff's wheeler 
or Bill's wheeler could hold back the 
hardest. A bull, for various reasons, can 
and will pull still more in a contrary 
direction than he can or will pull forward. 
It is due to peculiarities of his structure, 
and to mechanical reasons incident to his 
sitting back on all fours; and further- 
more, and not a bit less, to his natural 
disposition. The full extent of his 
strength and will-power can only be seen 
when he chooses to make himself a Sit- 
ting Bull. And so it came to the test. 
First it was to be seen whether Jeff, with 
his whip and other persuasion, could 
make Pierce's oxen drag Pierce's wheel- 
ers. Then Jeff's wheelers were to be put 
in their place and show whether they 
could hold back the same string, against 
Pierce's efforts. 

Pierce had a fairly well-broken off 
wheeler, but his main dependence, as 
is usual, was the near wheeler, one Scot 
by name. Although I had a partiality 
for Bully, I must say that Scot was a 
very good ox as worthy a foe as Bully 
could have met. Of the wheelers in that 

The Story of Bully 


particular neighborhood, Scot had the 
reputation of being the determinedest. 
His indurated bull neck was worn bare 
up to the roots of his horns with his 
dutiful woing. He was a tawny, tousled, 
roughish sort of a Carlyle of an ox; 
his hair seemed to be as perverse as 
himself. He had a horn that was not 
quite straight on his head but it was 
becoming and looked well on him as 
being the natural offshoot of a perverse 
brain. But it is no wonder he was stub- 
born. Having had to do much breaking 
in tough wire-grass, where a long and 
powerful string of raw, newly recruited 
cattle was needed, he had been used to 
hard fighting to bring them to a stand- 
still at the end of every furrow. In this 
educated function of holding back with 
such odds against him he had learned 
that he had to pitch in mightily or be 
dragged; and this experience had made 
him a live dog. To see this Texas steer 
throw himself back with his mind made 
up, and stick to the task even when 
he was being pulled along stiff-legged, 
would be a revelation to any one whose 
notions of cattle are based on the cow in 
ordinary. He was none of your meek and 
gentle kine. Scot was older at the busi- 
ness than Bully, but Jeff did not care for 
that; he unhooked his cattle, took out 
his wheelers, and renewed the challenge. 
I have long thought that I ought to 
put this tug of war fully on record, as 
something having a basic bearing upon 
the winning of our new country some- 
thing very universal and fundamental 
and already passed unrecorded into the 
artes perditce especially as it would 
have to be done by one who has first- 
hand experience. But it is a delicate task 
to undertake, and I do not know even 
how to make excuse; but possibly the 
world will understand after I have told 
more about the ways of Bully. I have 
heard some very good deep-sea swearing ; 
but, as history would show, the art of 
ox-driving has required the world's most 
eminent profanists. It cannot all be told. 
But it all had to be done, even in Puritan 

New England ; and I doubt if there is a 
Yankee left who could put a fid in a 

Suffice it to say that Bill took the bet; 
Jeff examined his cracker and stood off 
at good lash-length from the string; Bill 
stood at the left rear corner of the outfit 
to attend to his wheeler's state of mind, 
and then the contest began. Jeff's whip 
uncoiled its serpentine length and hit 
vacant space so hard that it fractured 
the atmosphere; the string started to 
move. Bill said "Wo!" and Scot 
squatted. The yoke slid up behind his 
ears; he threw up his head and caught 
the beam at the base of his horns and he 
laid back " for keeps," his stout legs 
braced and set. Jeff plied his art on the 
cattle ahead; Bill commanded his ox to 
"wo," and the chain stood stiff as a 

At each outburst from Jeff the chain 
wavered forward, and still harder Scot 
held back, twelve hundred pounds of 
solid resolution. He balked like a bull- 
dog on the chain. Sometimes it would 
seem that Jeff had him coming but 
Scot would not. Always, with some new 
summoning of will-power, some inward 
do or die, he would get a hold with 
his hoofs and bring them all to mere 
dead endeavor. But presently he began 
to slip ten feet twenty feet, still 
struggling for a chance to come back 
again with all fours set. He nearly did 
it; and then there seemed to blow up a 
storm of language. Jeff's eloquence 
rolled forth like thunder, and played 
along his length of leather lightning; it 
created havoc on the backs of the cattle 
like a summer storm on a shingle roof. 
Scot fought like mad. He went along a 
little farther, partly dragged and partly 
walking stiff-legged as he struggled to 
come back on his haunches; and Jeff 
kept driving oxen with a crack at every 
outburst. Scot came forward a step at 
a time and a slide at a time, till he had 
been brought a hundred feet or more. 
Jeff shut himself off and smiled peace- 
fully ; he caught the cracker in his hand 


The Story of Bully 

and looked perfectly content and harm- 

" Ye can't do that not with my 
Bully/' he said. 

Bully was more leisurely (all " staggy " 
steers are) in his ways of going at things. 
He lagged slightly in his progress, and 
as the beam slid up his neck he threw his 
head up slightly in the usual way and 
inclined ponderously backward for the 
tug of war. He always held his head 
slightly sidewise, for some reason, catch- 
ing the beam on only one horn; and he 
looked forth at you with the one-eyed 
unconcern of a Cyclops in the confidence 
of his power. While Bill did his best 
ahead, Jeff kept addressing his own ox 
in a subdued and private tone of " Wo, 
Bully." You have to address a near 
wheeler personally if you want him to 
do his best. 

Despite all the power the cattle were 
exerting, there was no motion to show it. 
There were only the yokes sunk deeper 
in their worn, scrawny necks, the hori- 
zontal chain, and the fixed position of the 
sitting bull. Jeff's feelings, to judge by 
his looks, went up and down like a ther- 
mometer as the chain began to show 
signs of going forward or back. He stood 
with bent knees and watched; and as 
Bill broke forth worse than ever, he laid 
one hand on his ox and said very confi- 
dentially, " Wo-o-o-o, Bully." Suddenly 
(and to Jeff it must have sounded like 
the rending and tearing of Destiny) 
Bully got one leg out of the furrow where 
he was braced, and the wire-grass went 
ripping through the cleft of his hoof. 
They were dragging the whole mettle- 
some mass of him. They seemed to have 
him overcome, despite the mechanical 
brace of his short, thick legs. But only 
for a few feet; he gave his head an im- 
patient toss, planted himself anew, and 
came back like the everlasting buttress 
of his bull determination. The harassed 
cattle were now straining forward as if 
they would choke themselves on the 
bows ; they took steps without advancing; 
they veered from side to side as if the 

leaders were trying for an easier opening 
through the atmosphere. Bill threw out 
his lithe bull- whip and started to pull out 
of there; they made Bully plough a fur- 
row with each of his four hoofs. Jeff put 
his whipstock in front of the wheeler's 
nose and spoke to him personally and 
again Bully woed. This time he brought 
his hoof back into the furrow, got all 
fours rooted into the upturned sward, and 
sat back as in a lockjaw of his whole 
physique. And there he stuck. His 
whole welterweight of ox was now in 
action and he was not to be budged. Jeff 
let the string pull against Irresistible 
Force for a while longer, not to have any 
argument about it; and then he claimed 
the victory. He had won. Of course 
there was a technical argument about 
this and that point of the art; and it was 
still going till Jeff was so far on his way 
again that his voice would not carry back. 

This victory became part of Bully's 
pedigree; Jeff submitted it verbally to 
any or^ who talked ox. 

In common with other staggy, philo- 
sophic wheelers, Bully had another abil- 
ity that surpasseth human wisdom. On 
dry, hot days, at three o'clock in the af- 
ternoon, he would suddenly " wo" on his 
own authority, and having brought them 
all to a stop he would drop in the fur- 
row. Without any ceremony whatever, 
he would stop them and plump down on 
the prairie like a big frog in a pond. The 
idea of taking a rest seemed to strike 
him in the head with the force of a sledge 
hammer and fell him to earth; and then 
he would deliberately start chewing the 
cud. When he did this you could not 
make any impression or have any influ- 
ence with him until the appointed time 
had come. While you mauled his staunch 
carcass, or put your boot-heel into his 
strong ribs, or prodded him with the 
whipstock, he would ruminate in holy 
quiet, looking out upon the world with a 
mild and gentle eye. You might torture 
his body if you would; you could not 
affect his inner spirit. He had retired 
within himself for a season; he had 

The Story of Bully 


duties with his digestion. In this posture 
he had a distended Falstaffian paunch 
and an air according : " Shall I not take 
mine ease in my furrow ? " He seemed 
to have taken in his feelings where they 
would be out of harm's way ; and I have 
thought sometimes that he might be one 
of those who believe in faith. It was 
strange but it must be remembered 
that a much-used ox is inured to hard 
usage and abuse. 

I must say, however, that I seldom 
disagreed with him. How could any one 
differ with him to his face ? His eyes 
were murkily blue; and looking into his 
honest face I could only wonder how it 
was, anyway, that a black Spanish bull 
could see his way to be so obliging. He 
was indeed innocent to be so unsophisti- 
cated of his great strength ; his obedience 
was a flattery. You could buy his affec- 
tion for a mere corn nubbin, which he 
would reduce in his mill of a mouth, 
husk, kernel, and cob; and all the time 
he would regard things with a doe-like 
eye and the tears standing out on his 
nose. Jeff, when he had him, was seldom 
disgruntled by this habit; he regarded it 
as a mark of brains in the steer; and 
being himself a philosopher, he would 
take a chew, following the wheeler's 
example, and loaf on the seat. When the 
time was fulfilled, Bully would arise vol- 
untarily, and then he would be good for 
any amount of balk and battle. I think 
it would have gone hard with any other 
ox that tried to do that. But Bully had 
to have his sacred rest; and it is never 
good policy to have a falling out with 
your wheeler. 

In a cold blow a dry norther an 
ox is the best of all walking companions. 
A dry norther is a sunny, sweaty day in 
Texas, and then a change that makes you 
feel as if somebody had suddenly stepped 
into the north and left the door open. 
It remains clear and sunny; the cold is 
entirely in the wind ; and so, on the south 
side of anything it is as warm as ever. 
You can take your choice of climate; a 
walk around a haystack is like circum- 

navigating the globe. It usually catches 
you when you are out on the shelterless 
prairie with your coat (if you have one) 
at the other end of a long furrow; and 
with the sweat upon you, you shiver and 
chatter. Here is where you take to the 
lee-side of your wheeler and walk along 
with him, stooping down in complete 
refuge from the cold. I have often been 
glad that an ox is not a long-legged, high- 
up horse that the wind can blow through. 
He is not only a windbreak but a whole 
broadside of animal warmth; he is both 
cosiness and company; he is a perfect 
breastwork as you stalk against Boreas, 
with your hand resting on his tough neck 
or grasping his warm horn. Nowhere, in 
mere walled warmth or kitchen comfort, 
is there this same sense of refuge and 
shelter of contrast between the warmth 
within and the cold without; it contains 
the secret of human gratitude. 

And here, by way of apology, I must 
remark that this closeness of mine to the 
wheeler this unavoidable relation of 
"brother to the ox " must be my excuse 
for writing in this vein of bestial intimacy. 
Even now I can feel the cold wind whisk- 
ing past the edge of his dewlap that hung 
down like a thick curtain his portiere 
if you please. For half a day at a time I 
have gone back and forth hugging Bully, 
cold on the up furrow and warm on the 
down, till finally the sun, all too slowly, 
went down like a big red wafer and set 
its seal upon the day. 

More and more every year we are be- 
coming a nation of travelers. To those 
who would travel for both pleasure and 
profit I can say a good word for plough- 
ing. It recommends itself to people in 
whatever circumstances, and for deeply 
founded reasons. When a man travels 
for pleasure he is likely to put himself 
at the task of enjoyment; when he is 
traveling to a destination, his journey 
is all a wait his business with the land- 
scape is to leave it behind; and I think 
it will be generally admitted that the cul- 
minating pleasure of a trip is in the 
arrival. Travels are more useful in the 


The Story of Bully 

reminiscence, the fond memory, than in 
the actual experience. Now, in ploughing 
prairie with a sulky, you have the greatest 
of all human privileges, to loaf at work ; 
and your outfit comes at every step to 
the object of your going. Your journey 
is all arrival. It does not break in upon 
one's time at all ; it exhilarates the cogi- 
tations like fishing or whittling; and by 
covering the ground so many times a 
man becomes thoughtful and thorough. 
It, more than anything else, makes think- 
ing quite respectable, giving it that seem- 
ing remove from idleness that keeps the 
neighbors from talking; it cultivates the 
gift of remembering; it is altogether the 
best mode of travel. 

In the choice of motive power, allow 
me to suggest the ox. The horse leans 
forward to pull, and even helps himself 
along by bobbing his head; he jerks a 
load out of a hard place by plunging 
bodily against the collar, stopping and 
lunging again ; he strains through a hard 
place and then starts suddenly forward 
at his release; he works himself into a 
lather ; and you, if you are the right kind 
of a person, cannot help feeling for him 
and assisting him with inward stress and 

The ox does not bob a horn. He sim- 
ply journeys, and the load goes along. 
When he comes to a tough place his 
pasterns do not bend down; he does not 
squat to pull ; he does not pinch along on 
the toes of his shoes; he seldom blows, 
and he does not know how to sweat. He 
does not exert himself at a patch of 
woven soil and then hurry up when he 
is past it. The chain becomes stiffer and 
the yoke sits solider to his neck, and that 
is all; there is no sign of effort. The 
earth may grit its teeth and crunch as 
it swallows the plough, but the ox stalks 
on his way. With the share deep or 
shallow, or lifted entirely and hanging 
from the axle. whether he is ploughing 
earth or air, it makes no difference to 
him. His most ponderous task is still 
himself, and he heeds no incidentals. 

He is out for a stroll ; he does not allow 

work to interfere with the even tenor of 
his way. His tendons are rigged to his 
outstanding rump-bones like so much 
spar and tackle, and he goes along by 
interior leverage; inside his old-woman 
hulk is the necessary enginework, and he 
will neither go slower for this thing nor 
faster for that. There is much about him 
besides his disposition that is self-con- 
tained; he is the antithesis of the auto- 
mobile. To ride on his back is a cure for 
the indigestion; to ride behind him is a 
rest for the mind; a course of ox is an 
antidote for the ills of the times. 

The steadiness of ox-ploughing is like 
sailing the prairie out of sight of wood 
and water, and the earth curling up 
before your prow. A streak of wire-grass 
giving way bitterly beneath you gives the 
machine a tremor that imbues you with a 
sense of power like an engine below 
decks. You are on a seat of the mighty. 
The yellow medlarks hurry along in your 
wake, keeping close to the opening fur- 
row, steadfast as porpoises. The breeze, 
tempered by an ocean of flowering prai- 
rie, cocks the brim of your sombrero as 
you sail along, close to the wind. You 
sit on your seat and have a general dis- 
position to let the world revolve. 

I could, if I had a mind, write an 
excellent tribute to the ox, but all he 
needs is a record of facts. In the matter 
of primal motive power, it was he that 
founded this United States. In the two 
great transmigrations of our people west- 
ward, what jeopardy of life and limb has 
instantly rested on his sturdy neck 
over the Alleghanies, over the Rockies, 
over the deathful desert, over the steep 
Sierras. In that great outpouring from 
New England that began about 1817, 
the ox, as usual, pulled forward and held 
back mightily on the mountain-side and 
laid down his bones for humanity. It 
was he who took our multitudinous an- 
cestor from his old onion farm at Weth- 
ersfield and hauled him with his house- 
hold to the Little Miami; and there 
he again assumed the role of prairie 
" buster," opening up the more generous 

The Story of Bully 


bosom of nature. Again, in the days of 
'49, he took up the trail ; and the history 
of that exodus was writ across the con- 
tinent in the bones of oxen. Where is 
deeper reading than this the bones of 
two or three yoke lying where they fell, 
and across their skeleton necks the heavy 
beams all strung along on a chain that 
would move a freight train. It stands for 
departed strength in a fight to the finish. 
It means that the motive power ran out 
of water. 

And having twice subdivided our 
people, cutting them almost entirely off 
from each other in the railroadless days, 
the ox did his part, along with horse 
and mule, to bring them together again. 
In 1863, on the anniversary of the bat- 
tle of New Orleans, they began a mem- 
orable work. On the mountain-sides of 
California a thousand axes began to 
swing and there was a roaring of twen- 
ty-five saw-mills a reaping and thresh- 
ing of trees. The mountain groaned as 
it brought forth a railroad. The oxen 
strained down the mountain-side with 
logs for the ties ; they kept the Chinamen 
supplied with rails and ties a hundred 
miles in advance. 

Eighteen months after this, eighteen 
thousand men (mostly soldiers) arrived 
at Omaha with three thousand teams. 
They were starting the other end of the 
railroad ; and the two halves would finally 
match the ends of their rails in Utah. 
Omaha was not connected by railroad 
with any other place ; they could not haul 
supplies with locomotives; but Chicago 
was building towards it. Ahead of them 
was a stretch of a thousand miles with 
but one tree upon it ; and then the plains 
again. The teams brought material and 
locomotives from one or two hundred 
miles; they hauled the first locomotives 
to the starting-place and set them or their 
feet, as it were; and then ransacked six 
states and territories for more material. 
Right here the ox, as a long-haul ma- 
chine, handed over his task to the loco- 
motive forever. When the ox once has 
the machinery of " civilization " a-going 

he is needed no more; he is turned loose 
and forgotten. Nevertheless it was he 
that started the country, for he is the 
father of having and hauling. Tribute! 
The ox would not know what to make 
of such a thing. You may work him all 
day and then kick him out to graze all 
night; you may use him to found society 
and then kick him out of history. It is 
only left for us to try to realize the his- 
tory of our country, even as seen through 
the medium of an animal. All hail, say I, 
the traction engine of our forefathers, 
the four-stomached, short-levered, grass- 
consuming, self-supporting ox. 

For the purpose of the philosopher, 
the thinker, ox-driving is all it should be ; 
it is equal to the fishing of the Cleve- 
landean school of meditation. There 
is little interruption of one's train of 
thought; and while all such practices 
make call for their vices, as lying and 
swearing, this needs only an idle vocifera- 
tion that means little and comes as a 
matter of habit. And in the absence of 
line or bridle, there is naught to do but 
sit on the seat through long, slow fur- 
rows and keep on in one's way of think- 
ing; there is none of the distraction of 
newspapers and books and lectures to 
keep one from thinking. Of the two 
primitive vocations, sheep-herding was 
the school of the prophet. But prairie 
busting with a sulky plough is the natural 
chair of philosophy. The former is pro- 
ductive of the expansive, vacuous specu- 
lations, the iteration of the metaphysical, 
mystical Baa (sometimes spelled B. A.) ; 
but the latter, on the substantial iron 
seat, is the natural ruminator of definite 
human fact. W T hen a man has long been 
in an attitude of thought, as if he were 
chewing the cud of things and digesting 
the world at leisure, the world, no doubt, 
has a right to ask him what he has 
thought. In view of this it has often 
seemed to me that some one should print 
the main points of the Bovine Philoso- 
phy. It includes the fundamental prin- 
ciples of things as seen by our American 
form of the Man with the Ho, 


The Story of Bully 

I shall beghi by reminding the world 
of the three stages of society the pas- 
toral, the agricultural, and the metro- 
politan, with especial reference to the 
United States. In the first stage, the cow- 
man and the sheep-man occupy the land 
in a nomadic way, and fight each other 
for what they call their rights, the cow- 
man objecting to the sheep because they 
crop grass too close, and cut it up with 
their sharp hoofs, thus spoiling the range. 
The " cowboy " is usually the aggressor, 
calling the other the Locust of the West; 
and in their fights the shepherd is often, 
to the surprise of many, the better man. 
He can fight with a fanatic frenzy pe- 
culiar to those who lead the life of the 

The cowboy has been much misrepre- 
sented as a "character;" the genuine 
ones are seriously engaged in a trade 
which takes some time to learn, and it 
is a matter of business with them. Even 
more of a character than these men 
is the wild cow with her strange notions. 
Never having had occasion to think 
otherwise, she has an idea that man and 
horse are one animal she believes in 
centaurs, and considers them proper. 
One time I dismounted in mid-range to 
my own legs, and was observed of a cow 
with a calf. She saw me do it. Imagine 
her feelings to see her centaur divide 
itself into two parts and act like that! 
She immediately felt it her duty to kill 
off such a miscarriage of nature; and 
while she would run from me on four legs 
she now ran at me. I clapped myself on 
my horse again just in time to avoid a 
horn; and she kept brandishing at me 
as I loped away. Such is the truly wild 
cow; she can run like a horse, and will 
fight upon occasion; and she can dodge 
a great deal easier than a horse. This is 
where the cowboy's hardest riding comes 
in, for it is his business to outdodge her 
to drive her where he wishes her to be. 
In the quintessence of his calling he is 
the artful dodger of the plains ; and from 
this comes the peculiarity of his long- 
stirrup riding, and all that makes his 

menage really different from that of other 

In this stage of affairs there comes 
trailing over the horizon a Jeff Ben- 
son, his bull- whip in his hand, his chain 
clanking against the tongue of his 
plough-carriage. He is " full of strange 
oaths ; " he threatens his chain-gang at 
regular intervals; he cracks his whip 
explosively and then subsides on his seat 
as peaceful as any fisherman. A gentle- 
man fly-caster cannot surpass him with 
the pole and line, for though he casts no 
flies he can reach out and knock a fly 
q^the ear of his near leader. He is come 
to make a farm for a German ; and from 
this time the nomads must prepare them- 
selves to civilize or move back. And what 
is the new ploughman driving ? A string 
of those very cattle of the plains. 

This first of all ploughmen never ap- 
pears with horses always with cattle. 
This is in the nature of things. In the 
natural state of things, where there are 
as yet no corn and oats, the horse has 
stunted endurance but not muscular 
weight. As the draught horse is not only 
bred, but more truly made, out of corn 
and oats, he may be said to be created by 
the ox. The horse finds enough nourish- 
ment, strength, in the grass, to get him- 
self, and rides nimbly over it, and that is 
all that is needed of him. But the ox has 
four stomachs a large, economic diges- 
tive plant. He can do the heavy work; 
and, because he has this thoroughness 
with what he eats, he can even lie down 
in the furrow at noon and eat the dinner 
he has brought along in his anatomical 
lunch-basket. He is no trouble, no ex- 
pense, has more power, and he does not 
pull things to pieces with sudden jerks. 
And so he is the one who does the work 
in the cornless, oatless state of affairs. 
Once he has done that tough task with 
the woven sward, conditions are changed, 
and he does not get the benefit of the 
series of crops he has started. The horse 
can keep the fallow field in order. The 
horse and the mule are preferred by a 
more adroit civilization; and so they 

The Story of Bully 


come to eat his oats and be what he has 
made them. The streets of Chicago used 
to be filled with oxen. And where are 
the oxen now? 

After the cowboy, the steer has a new 
master. For this new master, tied on 
behind, to make him go in any general 
direction is comparatively easy, seeing 
that the steer is still a dodger. Jeff can 
throw his whip out this side or that and 
regulate the course. But to stop a steer 
that is the question ! The cowboy has 
to trip him up with the lasso throw 
him bodily. And to perform with him 
the parallel furrows of the field that 
is still another question. Of course, if 
the ox were obedient he would stop when 
you told him or pulled on a rope. He 
would have to be thoroughly domesti- 
cated for that; and a new country can 
hardly halt civilization until a whole 
army of steers are somehow tamed and 
educated. Here was a problem in ani- 
mal psychology and practical politics for 
the ox-driver to solve. The solution of 
it is that a bull is " bull-headed," and 
can hold back powerfully; and so one 
animal that has been trained according 
to his nature will serve to handle a whole 

Let us follow Jeff to work. He is 
ploughing " around " a field, putting a 
furrow down one side of a strip, crossing 
over and coming up the other side; and 
so on till his furrows meet in the middle 
and he is done. At the end of a furrow his 
wheeler holds back and makes himself 
an immovable pivot, while the string is 
whipped around to cross over to the 
other furrow ; and having arrived exactly 
at it the wheeler sits back again, and 
they are brought around accurately in 
the furrow. It is as if he had a corner 
of his team firmly fastened until such 
time as the other end was pushed around 
just right. Without the sitting back of 
the wheeler, the whip could only accom- 
plish an erratic scrawl with the plough. 
But with this restraint upon them the 
driver has time to do fine work. Thus in 
ox-driving, as in the other arts, success 

does not depend merely upon power, but 
also upon restraint. 

It is the near or left wheeler that is 
the principal pivot, because in this coun- 
try we plough around land to the left, not 
to the right as they do in England. We 
rebelled against their way of ploughing. 

Thus your primitive team is founded 
with one word, "wo;" and that under- 
stood by but one ox. The ox-language 
now begins to grow. After hard experi- 
ence the leaders begin to observe that 
when the word is spoken they are whipped 
around to the left; and then, anticipating 
the lash, they hurry to the left of their 
own accord. You take them at their word, 
and soon are addressing them direct. 
The word "wo," that formerly meant 
" stop," has now changed its meaning 
by usage and means " turn to the left." 

You want your other wheeler to hold 
back also in emergency, and especially 
in turning to the right on a road ; and for 
him to stop you have a word with a 
different vowel sound " back." He 
knows that for his own. Finally the lead- 
ers learn that this means to turn to the 
right; and it comes to be their word for 
right. Thus it is that in a new part of 
the country, as in Texas a quarter of a 
century ago, there were " wo-back" oxen 
and the English language seemed to be 
contradicting itself. Leaders would hurry 
to the left or right at the words "wo" or 
"back." And then they learned their 
names and a more general and vocif- 
erous " wo " would bring them all to a 
stop without the work of the wheeler. 
But you were ploughing from the first. 
Like all earlier languages, it was one of 
fewer words and more inflections. 

Here "gee" and "haw" become of 
interest, together with the usual "wo" 
and "back," which we all understand 
the meaning of. To the dictionary, 
"gee" and "haw" terms we inher- 
ited from England are a mystery in 
their origin. It is said that possibly 
"gee" comes from " gee-off," meaning 
to go away, as the leaders do when 
they turn. But that is simply saying that 


The Story of Bully 

" gee " means " gee " hardly an explana- 
tion. The fact is that it came to us from 
times so remote that the origin is lost. 
Now the clue to this could never be had 
by watching "gee-haw" oxen, for a very 
good reason. They are domesticated ox- 
en; and domesticated oxen are broken 
one at a time by putting a young steer in 
a team and having him hauled about till 
he knows the whole vocabulary, by force. 
It is simply handed down from ox to ox. 
The Texas team I knew understood ordi- 
nary English in a way different from its 
meaning; and the oxen of British lineage 
understand an English that we do not 
know the original meaning of at all. 

This seems to explain the mystery of 
"gee" and "haw." Were they not the 
words addressed to the near wheelers 
away back in the beginnings of England ? 
Does not "haw" sound like "ho," from 
the lantern-jawed dialect of an English 
yeoman? To a primitive team, as we 
have seen, "ho" would come to mean 
left, when used in their wild state. And as 
"haw" means left, to everybody, I think 
it was originally only " ho." " Gee " 
might have been " gee-ap " a corrup- 
tion of " get up " as spoken to the near 
wheeler, just as you had them whipped 

However, I do not know anything about 
it I am simply trying to help the dic- 
tionary out of its difficulty, it not having 
had enough experience with oxen. I 
know nothing about oxen except in the 
primitive state, when nothing was in- 
herited from former generations; and it 
is this I am telling about particularly. 
And such was the genesis of bread and 
butter; for before the cow furnished but- 
ter she had to provide the bread to put it 
on. So endeth the Bovine Philosophy. 

Except, of course, one were to view 
the matter curiously, poetically. On this 
matter one might write a volume of his- 
tory and speculation. The ox, John- 
sonian as he is, has never had his Bos- 
well. Clothes have had their philosophy 
in Carlyle, but not the cow. No seer has 
arisen to expound the original labor- 

saver of this steel-armed, reciprocal, 
thrust-and-pull, wheel-filled whirl and 
grind of to-day. 

Because of woman's first desire, man 
received the curse; and having her he 
had so much that he had to live on one 
spot. At that it was necessary for him to 
set to work; and he soon looked about 
for a way to put the work on other shoul- 
ders. Consider him sitting tired and dis- 
couraged by his first garden-patch, view- 
ing the stream as so much power running 
to waste, and the beasts so much more 
muscular than he. And then his mighty 
resolve as he threw down the spade and 
decided to labor by proxy. See him as 
he views the woof and warp of the 
sward while woman waits hopefully for 
him to produce society out of the clay. 
Imagine him in his first inexperienced 
essays with the bull what wrecks and 
wrestlings with the wild bull ! I can see, 
myself, how they ran away with him 
across a whole township of Eden, and 
finally left him sitting in the hoof -marked 
muck of a distant watering-hole. There 
they had spilled him. 

And whilst they stand peacefully and 
lave their bellies in the drink, he sits there 
and takes thought. He studies out the 
bull's little weaknesses; and lo, he con- 
ceives the idea of the wheeler. I can see 
the satisfaction come out on his face to 
sun itself. Straightway he comes forth 
with the full-rigged team; and he goes 
and performs the engraved field. He can 
back and tack and do all evolutions 
with whip and wheeler it is like paddle 
and rudder; there is no runaway now. 
He can plough with never an idle scribble 
or scrawl on the face of nature. He 
thinks he has circumvented the curse; 
he has taken Bos from his meditations 
and become boss himself. This was the 
beginning of motive power; and when 
it came to hauling stone and timber for 
his first dam or windmill, then was the 
ox his true helpmeet. 

But it is no wonder that the ox has 
not had his life written. The three stages 
of society are more or less permanent, 

The Story of Bully 


and lie is used only at the beginning of 
one; his appearance is but momentary 
when he gives the new order of things 
its first shove. 

This Bully owed his fine form, and his 
position among his fellows, to a piece of 
good fortune that befell him in infancy. 
When he was a calf he was missed in the 
spring round-up. Thus he was spared 
the branding, the weaning, and all that 
befalls a young bull who is not fine enough 
in breeding to become a sire of the herd. 
His mother was a black Spanish cow that 
had got up into that part of Texas from 
Mexico; and I think she must have been 
related to heroes of the bull-ring, for 
Bully looked the part exactly. His father 
was half Durham, and so he got his short 
symmetrical horns. Having been missed 
in the spring round-up, he took all ad- 
vantage of a most affectionate mother. 
She let him nuzzle at her far beyond the 
usual time; and so, on a mingled diet of 
milk and grass, he filled out with the full 
physique of a bull. When the riders 
found him out, in the fall, he was still 
following his mother about; and it was a 
fine sight to see a neat black cow with 
so flourishing a child. He was almost as 
big as she, and just as strong ; it was hard 
work to upset him by horn and jaw to 
brand him. He was evidently intended 
for a near wheeler. Jeff took hold of him 
as soon as he was used to the yoke. 

Even in a story of civilization, it is 
necessary, I suppose, to tell what became 
of the hero. In the course of time he fell 
into the hands of a man who had no more 

work for him; and seeing that he was be- 
coming older and tougher every day he 
was hurried away to Chicago. There they 
put him through the system hair for 
plaster, horn for the Japanese to carve, 
soles for shoes and the high heels of 
beauty, combs for ladies' hair, fertilizer, 
imitation butter, lily-of-the- valley soap, 
more gew-gaws than Little Buttercup 
ever peddled. No doubt some of his tough 
hide became harness; and some of that 
worn-out harness is still hinges on corn- 
cribs, after so many years. 

In Chicago there was an old Judas 
bull that was trained to lead the herds 
across the Bridge of Sighs. I have seen 
him, and I have thought how the near 
wheeler, in all the innocence and honesty 
of his heart, followed the crowd across 
that stilted runway. Inside there is a 
stall; and above the stall is a board on 
which a man stands with a sledge at 
just the right height for the sledge to 
come down right on the star in the middle 
of each forehead. All day the man works, 
as if he were breaking stone or driving 
railroad spikes; and he fells herd after 
herd. I do not wish to be tragic; but 
standing before that stall I have felt like 
writing on it, "Here fell Bully, the father 
of his country." It must be remembered 
that I knew him well, Horatio. They 
made beef of him and used the rest 
for the by-product. But I'll wager " a 
dollar and a quarter " they never con- 
quered that callous bull neck of his. 
They never made charity soup out of 




AMERICANS admittedly are much more 
frequently at the polls than Englishmen. 
In municipal, state, and federal elections 
they mark at least ten ballot papers for 
the Englishman's one; for nowadays, 
when school boards in England are no 
longer elected by direct popular vote, an 
Englishman is seldom called upon to 
mark more than seven ballots in the 
course of six years. He may be called 
upon once a year to vote at a municipal 
election. Parliamentary general elections 
occur about once in every six years ; and 
when a city-dwelling Englishman has 
voted for the member of the municipal 
council for his ward and for the member 
of the House of Commons for his parlia- 
mentary constituency, his duties as re- 
gards voting are at an end. He is never 
called upon to vote in the election of 
mayor or alderman. The choice of these 
lies exclusively with the city council. 
Elections of judges are unknown in Eng- 
land. All judges, whether of the local 
police court, the recorder's court, the 
county court, the court of quarter ses- 
sions, or the higher courts that go on 
circuit or sit permanently in London, are 
appointed by the Crown, on the nomina- 
tion of the Secretary of State for the 
Home Department, who is a member of 
the Cabinet. 

Among local executive officers, muni- 
cipal auditors are about the only officials 
who are elected directly by popular vote. 
All other municipal officers are appointed 
by the city council, and are answerable 
to the city council for the faithful dis- 
charge of their duties. In an average 
period of six years in a constituency 
where a parliamentary by-election does 
not occur, and in a ward in which death 
or resignation causes no vacancy on the 


municipal council, an English elector 
would not be called upon to vote more 
than seven times for men to serve his 
ward or his parliamentary constituency. 
The probability is that in these six years 
the English elector would do nothing 
more than reelect his representative, 
both on the municipal council and in the 
House of Commons. Municipal coun- 
cilors are reflected again and again, and 
are not infrequently in the civic service 
for half a lifetime. If their record for 
efficiency and loyalty to municipal work 
is satisfactory they look to reelection, 
until they are chosen as aldermen by the 
municipal council, and occasion for popu- 
lar election is at an end. 

The English electoral system, muni- 
cipal and parliamentary, and the extra- 
constitutional machinery which has be- 
come necessary to its easy working, 
makes infinitely less call on the time of 
Englishmen than does the electoral sys- 
tem of the United States municipal, 
state, and federal and the elaborate 
and complicated machinery which has 
long been necessary to its working. Yet 
while this is so, while the American 
spends much more time in elections, I 
think it will be conceded by any one who 
is familiar with political life and thought 
in the two countries, that in England the 
general level of popular political educa- 
tion, of women as well as of men, is much 
higher than it is in the United States. 
Interest in politics municipal and na- 
tional is keener and more continuous 
in all classes of society than it is in this 
country ; and this in spite of the fact that 
the great majority of the parliamentary 
voters to-day have possessed the right to 
vote only since 1885. 

It was 1867 before workmen living in 

Political Campaigning in England and America 


the parliamentary boroughs were en- 
franchised; and another eighteen years 
elapsed before agricultural laborers and 
miners who dwell outside of the larger 
municipalities were able to vote for mem- 
bers of the House of Commons. The 
widespread interest in national politics 
in England seems at first sight all the 
more remarkable when it is remembered 
how late in the nineteenth century the 
working classes were enfranchised. But 
this fact in itself helps to explain much 
of the present popular interest in politics. 
From the American Revolution to 1885 
there was never a time in England when 
there was not a movement on foot for the 
parliamentary enfranchisement of the 
working classes; and the interest of the 
working classes in rural and urban Eng- 
land in politics was kept alive and stimu- 
lated for more than a century by the 
piecemeal fashion in which the parlia- 
mentary franchise was extended. 

Had Grey and Russell and the other 
Whig leaders who constituted the ad- 
ministration of 1830-32, made the par- 
liamentary franchise in 1832 as wide and 
inclusive as it is to-day, when every man 
out of the workhouse or jail can exercise 
it who has a settled abode, it is probable 
that to-day there would be less popular 
interest in Parliament and its proceed- 
ings. But the Whigs of 1830-32 were 
cautious. They were anxious to impair 
as little as possible the political power 
of the governing classes of those who 
had ruled England since the Revolution 
of 1688. Only the fairly well-to-do mid- 
dle classes were admitted to the parlia- 
mentary franchise by the Reform Act of 
1832; and the royal assent had scarcely 
been given to that famous enactment 
before there was begun another agita- 
tion for the extension of the franchise to 
the working classes. Out of this agita- 
tion developed the Chartist movement; 
and after much delay came the Reform 
Act of 1867. This applied only to the 
larger boroughs; and it admitted to 
the franchise the working classes only in 
those constituencies. The artisan in ru- 

ral communities, the agricultural labor- 
er and the miner, were left by the Act 
of 1867 where they had been left by the 
Reform Act of 1832. Nothing was done 
for them ; and the consequence was that 
there was soon another popular agitation 
for the enfranchisement of the working 
classes in rural England. 

The third agitation resulted in the 
Reform Act of 1885, which put the par- 
liamentary franchise on its present demo- 
cratic basis. Thus for more than a cen- 
tury there was an almost continuous 
agitation for the extension of the par- 
liamentary franchise. During all these 
years the working classes were interested 
in Parliament because it was in its power 
to bestow on them a right which they 
were anxious to possess. From the Amer- 
ican Revolution to the Reform Act of 
1885 the working classes were looking to 
Parliament for this right. They were 
continuously in an expectant mood. The 
attitude of Parliament towards parlia- 
mentary reform, from the time that the 
question was first brought before the 
House of Commons by Pitt, in 1785, to 
the act which Gladstone carried through 
Parliament in 1885, was of direct and 
personal moment to them, a fact which 
served to give them a keen and continu- 
ous interest in politics. 

Foreigners visiting England towards 
the close of the eighteenth century fre- 
quently noted the interest of the working 
classes in politics, and the zest with 
which politics was discussed. This in- 
terest of the working classes was obvious 
even in the days when the stage-coach 
men and the carriers were the principal 
purveyors of news, and long before news- 
papers came generally into service; be- 
fore the London daily and weekly news- 
papers, which cost seven or eight pence 
a copy, were passed from hand to hand 
until they were so thumbed and worn 
that they would scarcely hold together. 
Even after newspapers were published 
at a cheaper rate, and every large town 
had its daily, weekly, or semi-weekly 
journal, politics national and munici- 


Political Campaigning in England and America 

pal filled most of the newspaper space ; 
for it was not until the eighties of last 
century that sport began to obtain its 
present foothold in English daily and 
weekly newspapers, and began the con- 
test with politics for preeminence and 
right-of-way in the newspaper world. 

Widespread popular interest in politics 
in England can be dated at least as far 
back as the American Revolution. For 
more than a century this interest was 
intensified by each new agitation for par- 
liamentary reform, and with each exten- 
sion of the parliamentary and municipal 
franchise. These extensions of the fran- 
chise, of necessity, involved the creation 
of some machinery for parliamentary and 
municipal elections. But the machin- 
ery has not become so intricate or so 
elaborate as to overshadow the elections, 
and the questions and principles at issue 
in parliamentary or municipal contests. 

There has not grown up in England, 
what has long existed in this country, 
one small and interested class exclusively 
intent on working the electoral machin- 
ery, and another and enormously larger 
class, much more loosely held together, 
which does little more than march to the 
polls to vote for the men whom the 
smaller and more interested class 
really the governing class has nomi- 
nated for election. Hence the wholly 
different meaning of the word politician 
in this country and in England. In this 
country my understanding of the word 
politician is a man who is closely, con- 
tinuously, and actively concerned in the 
working of the machine, or who holds 
an office, or is a perpetual candidate 
either for elective or appointive office. 
The word has no such narrow signifi- 
cance in England. It implies a man or 
woman who is interested in political ques- 
tions and principles, who is a student 
of politics in this wider sense. 

There are many men in this country 
who would resent being described as 
politicians; who would regard such a 
designation as derogatory to their dig- 
nity and social standing. In England 

no man or woman who is known to 
be interested in political questions would 
in the least resent being spoken of as 
a politician. Few English people to-day 
recall, if they ever knew, Dr. Arnold's 
dictum that the desire to take an ac- 
tive share in the great work of gov- 
ernment is the highest earthly desire of 
a ripened mind. But there are people 
beyond count in England, in all walks of 
life, with whom interest in politics is as 
intense and as continuous as it was with 
Dr. Arnold. Tens of thousands of these 
people have no expectation of ever being 
of the House of Commons, or even of a 
municipal council. Politics is chiefly an 
intellectual interest with them, put into 
active exercise only when they go to the 
polls. But no man or woman in Eng- 
land ever apologizes for being a politi- 
cian; just as no one in this country ever 
apologizes for being of a Browning or a 
Dante society, or for a love of music. 

There are, and there must be, men in 
England who are actively interested in 
the organization and working of the 
machinery of elections. Registration of 
voters must be continuously attended to 
by party agents. At elections the vote 
must be got out, just as in this country. 
The law, however, rigorously limits the 
number of men who can be engaged for 
pay ; and there are practically no remun- 
erative offices, either in the national or 
municipal civil service, that can be be- 
stowed as rewards upon party workers. 
These workers, paid and voluntary, form 
but an infinitesimal group in any elec- 
torate; and in a campaign, whether na- 
tional or municipal, much less reliance 
is placed upon their efforts than upon 
the work of the men of the machine at 
elections in this country. 

An election in England, whether for 
the House of Commons or for a mu- 
nicipal council, is chiefly an educational 
campaign, in which the spoken and the 
printed word are the far-reaching and 
all-powerful weapons. Every candidate 
must make clear to the constituency 
from which he would be elected the 

Political Campaigning in England and America 


principles for which he stands, and the 
policies in national or municipal econ- 
omy which he advocates. If he has 
been of the House of Commons and is 
seeking reelection, he must justify the 
votes he has given in the Parliament that 
has come to the end of its term, and also 
the policies of the government which he 
has supported. He must also make popu- 
larly and generally understood the meas- 
ures and policies he is prepared to sup- 
port in the event of his return to the 
House of Commons. 

It is much the same in municipal pol- 
itics. A candidate seeking reelection to a 
municipal council must give an account 
of his stewardship during his three years 
in office, and must also inform the elect- 
ors of his ward of the line that he ex- 
pects to take in the ensuing three years' 
work of the council. 

In this country, except for the cam- 
paign buttons and the banners that are 
stretched across the streets banners 
on which are displayed only the names 
of the party and its candidates, there 
are usually few out-door indications, even 
in a presidential year, that an electoral 
canvass is in progress. In an English 
city during a parliamentary election, 
whether a general election or a by- 
election, a new-comer could not get half 
a dozen blocks from the railway station 
at which he had arrived without oppor- 
tunities of ascertaining who were the 
candidates, what claims they had on the 
suffrage of the constituency, and what 
were the political issues on which the 
election was being fought. An American 
who should arrive in Liverpool during a 
parliamentary contest could fully and 
accurately inform himself on all these 
points in a walk from the landing-stage 
to Exchange or Lime Street Station. 

The printed word, in its largest and 
most outstanding form, still survives in 
English electioneering, in all its glory and 
splendor of coloring. On all the bill- 
boards, from the time the electoral cam- 
paign begins until the returning officer's 
writ is in the possession of the successful 

candidate, are the portraits of the candi- 
dates, the addresses of the candidates to 
the electors, the record of the government 
that is seeking a renewal of its lease of 
power, the criticisms of that record by 
its political opponents, and the promises 
of the party that is seeking to dislodge 
the government and to take its place. 

All other advertising disappears from 
the bill-boards during an election. The 
politicians are in exclusive possession. 
Proprietary-goods men and other trade 
advertisers willingly surrender their rights 
in the bill-boards; for they know that 
at election times it is a waste of good 
money to attempt to dispute possession 
with the politicians. For two weeks the 
public is solely occupied with politics; 
and at these times the bill-board has 
nearly as great an educational value as 
the platform or the newspaper press. 
These factors in an election are used as 
assiduously as the bill-board. So is the 
post-office; but the bill-board, while it 
commands the attention of people who 
read the newspapers, attend political 
meetings, and receive electioneering lit- 
erature by mail, also reaches people who 
do none of these, and in this way all 
classes in the community are brought 
within the influence of the educational 
machinery of a parliamentary election. 

It is now twenty-four years since I 
first went through a presidential election 
in the United States. It was my first visit 
to the United States ; but even yet I have 
not got over my surprise at the complete 
absence of bill-board electioneering liter- 
ature hi the city of St. Louis, in the 
Blaine-Cleveland campaign of 1884, and 
at the meagreness and indefiniteness of 
what are called " cards," that were issued 
by congressional and state candidates 
in Missouri at that election. The Eng- 
lish elector expects much more than a 
card from his parliamentary candidate. 
He knows without a card to which politi- 
cal party a candidate belongs; and he 
expects from a candidate who is seeking 
his vote a carefully written and detailed 
manifesto in which the candidate must 


Political Campaigning in England and America 

set out without equivocation his position 
on all the political questions which at the 
time of election are agitating the country. 
In England these election addresses 
from individual candidates, as they ap- 
pear in the press, frequently run to three- 
quarters of a column in newspaper type 
and measure. They are additional or 
supplementary to the manifestoes which 
are issued by the parliamentary leaders 
of the several political parties. 

At an English municipal election, pro- 
cedure is much the same. Each candi- 
date for the municipal council issues his 
election manifesto. It is published in the 
newspapers and on the bill-boards ; and, 
as is the case with the parliamentary 
candidate, he elucidates or amplifies it at 
the public meetings of the electors which 
he is called upon to address. There is 
no such far-reaching educational work in 
most municipal elections in this country. 

At the time I write a municipal can- 
vass of much significance is in progress 
in my home city of Hartford. But the 
bill-boards are exclusively occupied by 
the theatre men, and the proprietary- 
goods advertisers; and I have not been 
able to find in print a signed and detailed 
electoral address from either of the can- 
didates who are in the contest for the 
mayoralty. My home is in one of the 
largest wards, but not a single one of the 
five Republican candidates for the city 
council has made an appearance on the 
platform in the ward. The candidates 
were nominated at a party caucus which 
was so formal and perfunctory that all 
the business was transacted in twelve 
minutes; and although three or four of 
the candidates were seeking reelection, 
not one of them thought it incumbent on 
him to give the meeting any account of 
his stewardship, or any indication of his 
attitude towards municipal policies. The 
candidates did not even stand up in cau- 
cus to allow the electors to make the 
acquaintance of the men who were ask- 
ing their electoral support. 

It is a constant complaint from the 
press and the pulpit of this country that 

electors are indifferent to the caucuses. 
The complaint is at least as old as my 
acquaintance with American politics. I 
do not remember the time when it was 
not made. But I am not surprised that 
the caucuses arouse so little interest after 
my experience of municipal caucuses in 
Hartford. English electors would not 
turn out for caucuses such as I have at- 
tended here. English electors are keenly 
interested, not so much in the men for 
whom they are to vote, as in what the men 
stand for in national and municipal life. 

Election contests in England owe 
then* vitality and interest, not to the 
men who are the candidates, but to 
the questions and principles that are 
at issue in the election. The municipal 
candidates for my ward in Hartford, had 
they been contesting a ward in an Eng- 
lish city, would have had to hire a hall, 
and address meetings open to Liberals 
and Conservatives, to women as well as 
men, and even to boys and girls of the 
upper grades of the grammar schools. 
It is by such methods as these that the 
municipal spirit, so characteristic of pro- 
vincial England, has been developed 
since 1835; and it seems to me that mu- 
nicipal spirit in this country will not reach 
the high level of England until there is 
less of machine, less of exclusively par- 
tisan activity, and more of mass meeting 
and of other influences that are distinctly 
educational, and concerned rather with 
questions and policies than with the mere 
election to office of this or that man, and 
the success of the machine of one party 
over the machine of the opposing party. 

It has always seemed to me that the 
public political meeting in England is 
much more educational than the political 
mass meeting in this country. I will con- 
cede that Americans in attendance at a 
political meeting behave with more pro- 
priety and decorum than English people. 
I have attended many political meetings 
in this country at which the principal 
speaker was given a hearing as uninter- 
rupted and respectful as would be ac- 
corded to a king's chaplain or an arch- 

Political Campaigning in England and America 


bishop in a chapel royal in London. But 
this characteristic of an American audi- 
ence obviously has its disadvantages as 
regards popular political education. 

From this point of view my preference 
is for the English political meeting, even 
with its occasional tendency to rowdiness, 
to platform storming, and to marksman- 
ship practice with antique eggs. But 
these features are only occasional. They 
break out at seasons of intense political 
excitement, and have their usefulness in 
testing the nerve of the ushers and police- 
men. The English political meetings at 
which there are interruptions of the 
speaker by impromptu interjections of 
query, approval, or dissent from the 
audience, are not occasional. Meetings 
so interrupted are the rule at election 
times. Interruptions and interjections 
are expected by a speaker. Usually they 
are welcome, because they show the 
mood and bias of the audience, whether 
the speaker is holding their attention, 
and whether he is carrying the meeting 
with him. 

Time and again I have been sorry for 
a political speaker in this country who 
has addressed an audience for an hour 
or more without eliciting from it any in- 
dication of sympathy or of disapproval. 
This decorous propriety of American 
political gatherings such for instance 
as I witnessed when Mr. Secretary Taft 
spoke for an hour to an audience of two 
thousand in the Foot Guards Hall in 
Hartford would chill the heart of an 
English political speaker, and result in 
a serious self-examination as to whether 
it was worth his while to continue his 

For the audience as well as the speaker 
the English style of public meeting has 
its advantages. It enables the audience 
to carry the speaker outside the lines he 
might have set for his speech, and to 
direct him to aspects of a political ques- 
tion other than those he had in mind 
when he prepared his speech. More- 
over, the English style enlivens a meeting 
and adds to its interest and educational 
VOL. 102 -NO. 2 

value. Furthermore, it results in better 
newspaper reporting than is the fortune 
of American political speakers. 

In this country it is a common practice 
for a speaker of verbatim importance in 
the newspaper world to give a typewritten 
duplicate of his speech to the Associated 
Press or the local newspaper, and it is 
printed as written, with no indications 
interwoven in the text of the reception 
which was accorded to it by the audi- 
ence. Neither of a speech delivered in 
Parliament, nor of one delivered on the 
platform, does an English statesman ever 
hand over his manuscript to the press. 
It would not be safe to print such a 
speech; because the marshaling of the 
subjects, the phraseology, and much of 
the content of the speech might be com- 
pletely changed by the questions and in- 
terjections from the audience. 

All great speeches in England are 
taken down verbatim by the reporters 
and telegraphed all over the country from 
the place where they are delivered. Every 
cheer, every expression of approval or 
dissent, and every question addressed to 
the speaker, goes on the reporter's note, 
and is reported in the newspaper the next 
day ; so that newspaper readers are fully 
informed of what actually happened, and 
not of what the speaker proposed to say 
when his speech was put into manuscript. 

English newspaper readers want to 
know what a speaker said, not what a re- 
porter conceived that he might have said ; 
and it is for this reason that, in spite of 
many changes in the last ten or twelve 
years, not all by any means adding 
to the civic value of the English press, 
the ability to take a verbatim note 
and transcribe it with accuracy is still a 
sine qua non for most reporters on the 
staffs of responsible English newspapers. 
Shorthand writing is belittled in the 
newspaper world of this country; but 
the importance of the four generations at 
least of newspaper reporters who have 
written shorthand cannot be over-esti- 
mated in appreciating popular political 
education in England. 



AFTER a winter spent in the City of 
the Dinner Pail, in the midst of its busy 
life and in touch with that vast army of 
toilers which daily marches to the sound 
of the factory bells, I found myself when 
summer came, comfortably settled on a 
sea-girt farm near Newport. At first it 
was difficult to realize that the scenes 
about me and the scenes hi the life of the 
toiler, to which I was so accustomed, 
were parts of the same drama. Yet the 
scenes so different are intimately con- 
nected, and there is more than passing 
significance in the fact that Fall River 
and Newport are separated by only 
twenty miles of railway track. 

At Newport no factory bell awakes the 
sleeper in the early morning hours; the 
hum of industry does not reach the ear 
at noonday here is no camping ground 
for the Army of the Dinner Pail. No, 
this quaint old city by the sea has nothing 
'to suggest of wealth in the making it 
speaks rather of wealth accumulated, 
and by its splendid pageantry dazzles the 
imagination with visions of America's 
material prosperity. Here is more mag- 
nificence than you may find in the courts 
of kings the lavish display of princes 
in a democracy where all men are created 

My first impression of Newport, how- 
ever, had nothing to do with its lavish 
pageantry it related rather to the toil 
of fisher-folk and farm-hands, and thus 
in the end became the means of unifying 
in my mind the problems suggested by 
the two cities. The farm was situated 
on the point which reaches out towards 
Brenton's Reef, on which, some weeks 
before, a fishing steamer had been 
wrecked. For several days I studied the 
stranded vessel, wondering how long it 
might be before the sea would break it 


up, and if the ship were copper-fastened, 
and if so, how many barrels of driftwood 
I might find along the beach to burn in 
my study fire when the winter evenings 
came. But others had looked upon the 
wreck who had no thought of driftwood 
fires and colored flames, but who saw 
anchored there upon the rocks a whole 
season's fuel for their homes, and these 
men set about to do themselves what I 
had hoped the wind and waves might do 
for me. There on the reef lay the wrecked 
vessel, to me a picturesque sight, sug- 
gesting wind and weather and the perils 
of the sea, but to the farmers and the 
fisher-folk it suggested cords of firewood 
and a winter day's necessity. 

Three companies engaged in reclaim- 
ing the wreck : one of Greek fishermen, 
whose huts stand on the beach near by, 
one of Portuguese farmers, whose scant 
acres lie some miles to the north, the 
other of farm-hands employed on one 
of the near-by estates. The work, begun 
in the afternoon when the tide was rising, 
was carried on until midnight. Men with 
ropes about their bodies swam to the 
wreck, and reaching it, hauled great haw- 
sers from the shore; these they made fast 
forward, aft, and amidships. On shore 
yokes of oxen and teams of horses strained 
and tugged at the hawsers, wresting from 
the sea its lawful booty, and at last haul- 
ing the huge dismantled craft upon the 
nearer rocks. 

The ship, being derelict, was anybody's 
property, so the work was carried on by 
moonlight, lest others who had not borne 
the heat and burden of the day should 
come by night and carry away the prize. 
The Greeks were more fortunate than 
the rest, for their part of the wreck in- 
cluded the pilot-house. This they, wad- 
ing and swimming beyond the surf or 

Newport : the City of Luxury 


tugging from the shore, towed into a 
little cove between two points of weather- 
beaten cliffs and landed it upon the 
beach. In the pilot-house they camped for 
the night; but for the others, they must 
work while the moonlight lasted and af- 
terwards keep vigil until sunrise. A deal 
of labor this for a pile of firewood, hard 
labor indeed for the simplest necessity 
of life. 

Later in the season, within half a mile 
of the place where the wreck was brought 
to the shore, I witnessed another scene 
a scene of action quite as strenuous but 
to a different purpose. The polo grounds 
are situated on the same point where the 
vessel went ashore. The green field lay 
bright in the sunshine, while beyond 
rolled the ocean, blue as the sky above 
it. About the side-lines great ladies and 
gentlemen of fashion were gathered to 
enjoy the game. Some sat in finely up- 
holstered carriages, drawn by magnifi- 
cent horses, whose golden harness-trap- 
pings glittered in the sunshine; others 
sat in automobiles, while others, clinging 
to the tradition of an earlier day, were 
there on horseback. On the piazza of the 
club-house finely gowned women and 
well-groomed men drank tea while they 
watched swift-footed ponies, bearing their 
crimson- and yellow-clad riders helter- 
skelter over the field. As for the game, 
it was a splendid show ; they played well, 
those husky young fellows, with a skill 
and courage altogether admirable, giving 
the lie to the notion that wealth and dis- 
sipation necessarily go hand-in-hand. 

As I watched the game, admiring the 
skill of the players and realizing the 
magnificent surroundings in which they 
spend their lives, surroundings permit- 
ting of infinite leisure for the cultivation 
of body and mind, the words quoted 
by Matthew Arnold, in his beautiful 
apostrophe to Oxford, came to my mind. 
"There are our young Barbarians all at 
play." Arnold, it will be remembered, 
referred to the upper, middle, and lower 
classes of English society as Barbarians, 
Philistines, and Populace. The aristo- 

crats, he said, inherited from the Bar- 
barian nobles, their early ancestors, that 
individualism, that passion for doing as 
one likes, which was so marked a char- 
acteristic. From the Barbarians, more- 
over, came their love of field sports, the 
care of the body, manly vigor, good looks, 
and fine complexions. " The chivalry of 
the Barbarians, with its characteristics 
of high spirit, choice manners, and dis- 
tinguished bearing, what is this," he 
asks, " but the commencement of the 
politeness of our aristocratic class ? " 
" There are our young Barbarians all at 
play." That line of Arnold's coming to 
my mind, which at that moment was con- 
trasting the scenes I have described, sug- 
gested the thought that, despite the fa- 
miliar words in the Declaration of Inde- 
pendence, and our inherited repugnance 
to the idea, we have an upper, middle, 
and lower class in America. 

We cannot refer to our aristocracy by 
the term Barbarians, for its members are 
not descended from " some victor in a 
Border brawl," their ancestors being of 
the old-world populace. Yet by whatever 
name it may be called, our aristocracy 
of wealth possesses characteristics curi- 
ously akin to the descendants of the 
Goths and Huns. 

America has been a surprisingly short 
time in creating this aristocracy in all its 
refinement. We need not now be ashamed 
to entertain the most beribboned prince 
in our summer palaces at Newport; and 
yet but little over fifty years ago the 
author of " Lotus-Eating " complained 
mightily of the lack of refinement in the 
"Society " of that famous watering-place. 
" A very little time will reveal its char- 
acteristic to be exaggeration. The intens- 
ity, which is the natural attribute of a 
new race, and which finds in active busi- 
ness its due direction and achieves there 
its truest present success, becomes ludi- 
crous in the social sphere, because it has 
no taste and no sense of propriety." He 
complained that the aristocracy, being 
most successful in the acquisition of 
wealth, knew but poorly how to spend it; 


Newport : the City of Luxury 

that Croesus, having made his money, 
was bent on throwing it away, so he built 
his house just like his neighbors' only 
a little bigger and furnished it with 
Louis Quinze or Louis Quatorze de- 
formities, just like his neighbors, and 
bought carriages and gave dinners and 
wore splendid clothes, but owned few 
books or pictures ; he was mastered by his 
means, and any other man with a large 
rent-roll was always respectable and aw- 
ful to him. 

"What is high society," asks the Lotus- 
Eater, " but the genial intercourse of 
the highest intelligence with which we 
converse? It is the festival of Wit and 
Beauty and Wisdom. ... Its hall of 
reunion, whether Holland House, or 
Charles Lamb's parlor, or Schiller's 
garret, or the Tuileries, is a palace of 
pleasure. Wine and flowers and all suc- 
cesses of Art, delicate dresses studded 
with gems, the graceful motion to pas- 
sionate and festal music, are its orna- 
ments and Arabesque outlines. It is a 
tournament wherein the force of the 
hero is refined into the grace of the gen- 
tleman a masque, in which womanly 
sentiment blends with manly thought. 
This is the noble idea of society, a har- 
monious play of the purest powers." 
And in Newport he finds but the form 
of it the promise that the ideal may 
some day be realized ; but for the time we 
must be content with the exaggeration, 
for " Fine Society is a fruit that ripens 

A generation only has passed since the 
Lotus-Eater wrote his charming book, 
and making allowances for an exagger- 
ation of style quite in keeping with the 
exaggeration of the fashionable folk 
about whom he wrote, we may say that 
his dream of what American society 
should be is, in a measure, a reality. 
Here in Newport is seen not only the 
form of a " Fine Society," but something 
of the substance. To be sure, much of 
exaggeration remains, but it is hardly 
fair to call it characteristic; it remains in 
the excesses of the ultra-fashionable set 


the very new aristocracy; but back 
of this excess, the description of which 
furnishes many fair readers with so much 
enjoyment in the Sunday papers, there 
is a solid foundation of good manners, 
bred of culture, in which we may find 
that " harmonious play of the purest 
powers," the Lotus-Eater longed to see. 
This aristocracy, founded on money 
though it be, early learned that money is 
but a means, that culture is the end, and 
it soon came about that a man must be 
a pretty insignificant sort of a million- 
aire, who- by his benefactions was unable 
to found a university, or at least have 
a professorship named for him, even if 
he himself were unable to write Eng- 
lish grammatically and the children 
of these millionaires benefited by their 
father's aspirations. We may not say by 
what marvelous means the transform- 
ation was effected, but certain it is the 
Newport of to-day is very different from 
the Newport of a generation ago. Croe- 
sus does not build his house just like his 
neighbors', only a little bigger, but com- 
mands the services of the ablest archi- 
tects, who have transformed Newport 
from a city of commonplace cottages to 
one of rare architectural distinction. If 
Croesus lacks the taste to furnish his 
house becomingly, he has the sense to 
hire a decorator to do it for him al- 
though in a larger measure than we 
realize, this is unnecessary; for Croesus 
has, in these later days, abandoned fast 
horses and flashy waistcoats, and has 
learned to buy pictures and books for 
himself and he enjoys them too, which 
is even a greater matter. He does not 
always spend his money wisely that 
were asking too much in a single genera- 
tion; he still makes too great a show of 
his money, leading humble folk to im- 
agine that there is some magic pleasure 
in the mere possession of vast wealth. 
He will overdo things occasionally or 
at least Mrs. Croesus will ; as when once 
she built a temporary ball-room next to 
her stately summer home, at a cost 
so the newspapers said of some forty 

Newport : the City of Luxury 


thousand dollars, and tore it down after 
a single evening's entertainment. Mrs. 
Croesus will spend vast sums of money 
to no rational purpose, and so give the 
socialists a deal to talk about, besides 
creating the impression that her hus- 
band's wealth was not inherited ; but on 
the whole she has made tremendous 
progress since she was a schoolgirl. 

Yes, despite all that we like to think 
to the contrary, we have an upper, 
middle, and lower class in America, but 
these classes are quite different from 
the very distinct strata observable in 
Europe. If Arnold had been describing 
American society, it would have been 
difficult for him to find a nomenclature 
so readily as he did when he described 
the English. To a degree the metric 
system has been adopted in the division 
of Americans into classes very much 
depends on the number of ciphers to the 
left of the decimal point. This is not to 
say that everywhere in America a man is 
rated by the amount of his securities 
that were an absurd statement so long 
as the golden dome reflects the sunlight 
over Beacon Hill; but from the very 
nature of things in a nation whose his- 
tory is essentially one of commercial 
development, any line between class and 
class must be relative to the success of 
individuals in competing for the reward 
of commercial supremacy; and this re- 
ward in the first instance is a matter of 

The history of society in America is 
the story of workingmen rising to be 
employers of labor, and this rise is ac- 
companied with a constantly changing 
standard of living; children whose fa- 
thers were content with rag-carpets buy, 
without knowledge of their significance, 
oriental rugs, and wear diamond shirt- 
studs. Their daughters go to finishing 
school and take on a fine surface polish- 
ing, their granddaughters go to college 
and learn that the color and design of 
the ancestral rug is what constitutes its 
distinction, not the great price which 
their successful forebears paid for it. 

This is how classes have grown in our 
society, despite our faith in the gospel 
according to Jefferson; and it is just 
this process which has made Newport 
to-day so very different from the New- 
port George William Curtis wrote about. 
I recently read a novel written twenty- 
five years ago, describing the humilia- 
tions of a Western girl, whose father was 
a wealthy ranchman, when introduced 
' to the polite society of New York. At 
table she never knew which fork to use, 
and once she picked geranium leaves out 
of the finger bowl and pinned them to her 
gown. In the end, of course, she learned 
the usages of good society and married 
a titled Englishman. The villain was a 
Western congressman, who chewed to- 
bacco and shocked but fascinated the 
ladies of the exclusive set. This antithe- 
sis between the social development of the 
West and the East was a constant quarry 
for the novel-writer in the last generation, 
and even now stories of this kind are to 
be found on the bookstands. The moral 
usually is that real virtue is not a matter 
of manners and all good Americans 
are pretty much alike under the skin. 
Such stories illustrate the fact that social 
classes in America are more elastic than 
in the old world, the one merging im- 
perceptibly into the other as individuals 
rise in successful competition. In Eng- 
land a junk-dealer's clerk is certain to 
remain a clerk until the end of his days ; 
or if, by force of ability, he should be- 
come a junk-dealer, he will not change 
his social position by a hair's breadth. 
In America, if he has persistency, he is 
more than likely to be the proprietor of 
a business; and if his success be great 
enough, you may see him occupying a 
box at the Newport horse-show, or hear 
of his wife's brilliant entertainments at 
her villa. You may not read that Mrs. 
Blank was among the guests, it was her 
grandfather who dealt in scrap iron and 
naturally she is a bit exclusive, but 
our junk-dealer has established himself 
as the ancestor of some future exclusive 
Mrs. Blank. 


Newport : the City of Luxury 

There is a danger in generalization, 
and we must not infer that there is no 
part of our American society claiming re- 
finement as its heritage, that refinement 
which is inseparable from true nobility 
and finds its best expression in simplicity 
of life and character. Such society we 
may find enthroned in the finest of the 
palaces which front the sea at Newport; 
we will find it, too, in some humble 
home yonder in the City of the Dinner 
Pail. Wealth offers no barrier to this 
society any more than poverty is its open 
sesame. To the happy mortals who dwell 
therein, money is but the means to make 
the world a happier place in which man- 
kind shall live. This man owns a great 
house which overlooks the sea, beautiful 
pictures hang upon its walls, and in the 
library are fine books and precious manu- 
scripts. It has been his pleasure to collect 
these masterpieces of literature and art; 
he shares the joy of them with his friends, 
he invites the student and the connois- 
seur to enjoy his treasures with him; he 
lends his pictures to the public galleries 
and holds his manuscripts in trust for 
scholars; and so his pleasure has added 
to the public wealth as surely as the rail- 
roads his industry has built or the mine 
he has opened. And after the long day's 
work in one of the countless factories 
which the genius of this multi-million- 
aire has created, many a man and woman 
return to their quiet homes, there to 
enjoy the same pictures and books which 
enrich his mansion for in this marvel- 
ous age, machinery, so despised by some, 
has given to the humblest citizen all the 
means of culture. 

One day during my summer on the 
sea-girt farm, society was stirred by the 
arrival of a duchess who came for a visit 
to a great house on the avenue. The next 
afternoon many carriages stopped at the 
door, the footmen leaving cards; society 
paid its call of welcome. Driving my 
quiet rig by the house, the sound of the 
horse's feet upon the pavement attracted 
attention within. The great doors swung 
open; two flunkeys, dressed in crimson 

satin livery, white silk stockings, golden 
knee-buckles, and powdered wigs, stood 
before me; one extended a golden sal- 
ver to receive my cards, but, seeing his 
mistake, retired. Before the doors closed 
behind him, I glanced into the great hall, 
down which a line of other flunkies in 
similar livery stood at attention. Some- 
how that livery has remained in my mem- 
ory ever since. Surely, in the fifty years 
since Mrs. Potiphar consulted the Rev- 
erend Mr. Cream Cheese concerning the 
color and cut of the Potiphar livery, 
Americans have made tremendous strides 
in dressing their servants. It is not, how- 
ever, the questionable right of Americans 
to the apostolic succession of flunkydom 
that keeps the vision of those radiant 
servants in my memory, but the sugges- 
tion of luxury their decorous forms called 
up to a mind filled, that afternoon, with 
the problems of poverty and with specu- 
lations concerning the possibilities of a 
distribution of wealth in which a living 
wage might be guaranteed to every able- 
bodied man who is willing to work for it. 

Poverty and Luxury these are the 
diseases of our industrial regime, to the 
cure of which the socialists offer their 
ineffectual remedy; ineffectual since the 
population of the United States is made 
up of ninety million individuals, some 
of whom will be forever on the verge of 
bankruptcy, however great their income, 
and some frugal and always carrying 
their account on the right side of the 
balance-sheet, however small their an- 
nual allotment of wealth. 

Poverty and Luxury twin diseases 
sapping the life of society : the one de- 
stroying ambition by withholding suffi- 
cient nourishment to the body ; the other 
rendering men worthless to society by 
a superabundance of the good things of 
life. Poverty is a disease not indigenous 
to our American soil; it is a plague 
brought in by immigrant ships from 
worn-out Europe, and the patients are 
cured here by the thousands. So long 
as there remains an uncultivated acre 
of land anywhere in the Union, there is 

Newport : the City of Luxury 


no real cause for poverty, nor any ex- 
cuse for luxury while a foot of land is 

" The extreme of luxury," De Lave- 
laye says, " is that which destroys the 
product of many days' labor without 
bringing any rational satisfaction to the 
owner." Another author calls luxury 
" that which creates imaginary needs, 
exaggerates real wants, diverts them from 
their true end, establishes a habit of 
prodigality in society, and offers through 
the senses a satisfaction of self-love which 
puffs up, but does not nourish the heart, 
and which presents to others the picture 
of a happiness to which they can never 

Take either definition you will, we 
behold in the social life at Newport a 
measure of luxury men have not wit- 
nessed since the fall of Rome. 

There was a time when economists 
apologized for luxury on the ground that 
those who supported it kept money in 
circulation, thus benefiting the poor ; but 
that was when scholars believed that 
money was wealth in itself, and fondly 
believed that one might eat his cake and 
have it too. " Money changes hands," 
they said, "and in this circulation the 
life of business and commerce consists. 
When money is spent, it is all one to the 
public who spends it." We have passed 
beyond such specious arguments, but 
there are those even now who think if a 
man builds a temporary ballroom and 
destroys it the next day, some one has 
been benefited. The workers engaged 
in building and demolishing it and the 
men who employed them have, no doubt, 
obtained an immediate benefit; yet the 
same money might have built ten houses 
to be the homes of generations of men. 
Mrs. Croesus has had her vanishing pal- 
ace, but ten families are sleeping with- 
out shelter because of it. She should beg 
her husband to use his influence at Wash- 
ington to restrict immigration, or else to 
employ his wealth in such a way that 
these newcomers may be allowed to earn 
a proper living. 

The sentiments which give rise to lux- 
ury, we are told, are vanity, sensuality, 
and the instinct of adornment; but the 
greatest of these is vanity, the desire to 
distinguish one's self and to appear of 
more importance than others. It is this 
aspect of luxury that flaunts itself on the 
avenue during the season. " My owner 
is rich, rich, rich," toots the horn of 
yonder marvelously upholstered motor- 
car, as it speeds along regardless of the 
pedestrian exercising his inalienable 
right to cross the street. " My husband 
is a multi-millionaire," this splendidly 
gowned matron declares, trailing her 
marvelously wrought skirt in the mud as 
she steps from her carriage, while her 
footman, in a livery more splendid than 
that of any prince in Europe, stares va- 
cantly into space and touches his shining 
hat. Yes, these people are distinguished, 
but it would take an exceptionally sharp 
eye to tell which in this hierarchy of 
ostentation is of the most importance. 

Condemnation of luxury, however, is 
not condemnation of wealth. Luxury is 
a disease merely, which may attack the 
successful individual just as poverty may 
sink the unsuccessful one to lower and 
lower depths of despair, and is no more 
a necessary result of a large income than 
poverty is of a small one. The question, 
after all, is not, how great is this man's 
fortune, but what does he do with it? 
We can make no quarrel with the Cap- 
tain of Industry because he possesses so 
many dollars that neither he nor a dozen 
clerks could count them in a twelve- 
month, if he has earned those dollars by 
his skill in trade and is conscious of his 
stewardship. He entered the race on 
even terms with many thousand others, 
and outstripped them; by the very bent 
of his genius he is incapable of becoming 
a prey to luxury, and uses his wealth to 
develop new railroads and open new 
mines, and thus feeds with a bountiful 
hand thousands of half-starved immi- 
grants from the old world. Such a man 
is a benefactor of mankind, as truly as 
the greatest philanthropist. He is en- 


Newport : the City of Luxury 

gaged in a real service to the nation, and 
his great fortune is the witness of his 
service. It has become the fashion of 
late to belittle these men of great genius 
and to forget the benefits which they have 
bestowed; but this fashion will soon pass 
and men will again restore to them the 
praise which is their due. 

When, in the economic history of man, 
the world passed from the agricultural, 
through the handicraft, to the industrial 
stage, the multi-millionaire became in- 
evitable ; when the first factory was built, 
the " trust " was its certain result. The 
trust and the multi-millionaire are essen- 
tial factors in our industrial evolution, 
stepping-stones to a new and better order. 
Very well, you say, we will accept the 
multi-millionaire at his real value; he is 
indeed a necessary factor in the develop- 
ment of our industrial world and we will 
not only cease to pursue him with venom- 
ous prejudice, but we will weigh care- 
fully the findings of investigating com- 
mittees and allow the rich every privi- 
lege guaranteed to the humblest citizen 
by the Constitution. We will do even 
more than this : we will admit the right 
of the multi-millionaire to the fruit of 
his industry, and allow him to keep un- 
molested his numerous residences, his 
horses, his motor-cars and his steam 
yachts. But what right has his son, who 
never earned a dollar throughout all his 
useless days, to inherit this vast wealth ? 

Well, that is a matter for future phil- 
osophers and future statesmen to settle 
among themselves. When the evil be- 
comes sufficiently acute, they will, no 
doubt, find some remedy, but for the pre- 
sent we have more immediate problems. 
We do not know toward what end our 
American republic is moving, whether it 
be toward that industrial state which one 
enthusiastic young socialist has prophe- 
sied will be a reality within ten years, or 
whether it be in quite a different direc- 
tion. But those who mark the course of 
events see a mighty evolution at work 
in our national life. On one side we 
behold the flood of immigration typified 
by the Greek fisher-folk and Portuguese 
farm-hands, working throughout the long 
night on Brenton's Point, to win from the 
sea a scanty pile of firewood ; and on the 
other, the lords of wealth, living in regal 
splendor in the stately homes overlook- 
ing the sea. The amazing natural re- 
sources of the new world have brought 
hither these humble folk to a richer life 
than their fathers ever dreamed might 
be, and the same natural resources have 
made possible this life of splendor 
more vast if not more magnificent than 
the world has known before. What this 
evolution means, we shall none of us live 
to understand ; for the American nation 
is still in its infancy, its natural resources 
are still undeveloped, and its contribu- 
tion to civilization still lies in the future. 



ONCE upon a time, a great many years 
ago, almost a century ago, in fact, 
there lived a lady who was young and 
fair, and rich enough, in all conscience, 
as riches went then. Indeed, there were, 
no doubt, many ladies who were young 
and fair and rich enough; but this par- 
ticular one was my great-grandmother, 
which may be the reason for my telling 
this story. 

Now this lady, whom we will call 
Iphigenia, 'principally because that was 
not her name, was married to a very 
worthy gentleman and brave man, who 
was the captain of a ship. And this ship 
sailed, one voyage after another, to Bom- 
bay and Calcutta and Manila and Ba- 
tavia and Singapore and such-like out- 
landish ports, from Boston. Captain 
Steele had sailed, late in September of 
the year 1821, on what was to be his last 
voyage. When he should sail into Boston 
Harbor again and land at the India 
Wharf, he would retire ; or, at least, that 
was Jiis intention. For he had been at 
sea, with certain brief intermissions, for 
the better part of fifteen years. And, at 
the age of thirty-three, it is fitting that 
a gentleman should retire from active 
service at sea, and should partake of the 
benefits and amenities of a life ashore. 

Such, at least, was Captain Steele's 
opinion; and such was the opinion of 
Iphigenia, his wife. Indeed, she would 
have been glad if he had seen fit to retire 
earlier. For in what was she better than 
a widow a widow for all but about 
three months out of every twenty-four? 
If she had been asked she was not 
asked, but if she had been she would 
have given it as her opinion that every 
gentleman should stay ashore for good 
and all after he was twenty-three, thereby 
setting ahead the date of retirement by 

ten years. Captain Steele was married at 
twenty-three. And Iphigenia, as she pon- 
dered upon these matters in her own 
room, pouted somewhat. 

" Nine years a widow! " she said. 
" Nine years a widow! W T ell, thank 
heaven, there is but a year more of it/* 
And she pulled the bell-cord. 

She was sitting in her own room, rather 
huddled up over a great fire that roared 
in the chimney. It was cold, bitter cold, 
outside, and none too warm inside, 
although the fire was doing its brave 
best. But fire in the rooms does not warm 
the halls, especially if the doors be shut, 
as hers was. And, with the doors open, it 
is but a draughty place before the great 
chimney, that sucks up all the air it can 
get, be it cold or warm ; and the air at this 
season was mostly cold. And Iphigenia 
had before her an embroidery frame and 
she was sitting in a very high-backed 
chair. The door into the hall must open 
sometimes. And she tried to embroider, 
but her fingers were rather cold, and 
besides, to say the truth, she did not want 
to. There was nothing that she did want 
to do, and neither did doing nothing suit 

It is to be feared that Iphigenia was 
out of sorts. Perhaps she missed her 
husband. For I have always understood 
that Captain Steele was a very loving 
husband, although he did not ask his 
wife's opinion as often as he might, even 
on matters in which she might have had 
a preference and in which that prefer- 
ence should have had some weight. He 
did not ask his wife's opinion at all. No 
doubt he was to blame in that. We 
should not do so, now we should not 
dare. But I have always understood, 
also, that it is never the way of sea cap- 
tains it is not a habit worth mention- 


The King's Son of Palemban 

ing to ask anybody's opinion in regard 
to anything, but to trust to their own. 
And that method has its advantages, too. 
The door opened and a maid entered. 
"Madam rang?" said she, in the low 
voice that well-trained maids always use 

always have used, since maids were. 
Iphigenia did not turn her head. " Yes, 

Marshal], I rang," she said; and her 
voice was not even and calm, like Mar- 
shall's, but its tones betrayed her irrita- 
tion. She did not have to modulate her 
voice always within a certain compass, 
as Marshall did. It might have been 
better for her if she had had to. She did 
not have to do anything that she did not 
want to do ; it was only to convention that 
she bowed. And, if conditions only be- 
came sufficiently hard to bear, why, con- 
vention But she went on. 

" What people have I asked to supper 
here, to-night, Marshall ? " 

" Madam has asked but three people 
for to-night," answered Marshall, in the 
same well- trained voice. *' There is Cap- 
tain Cumnor, and Miss Peake, and Mr. 
Hunter. That is all, madam." 

" Have n't I asked Captain Ammidon 

and Mrs. Ammidon ? " asked Iphi- 
genia, in a sort of panic, as it seemed. 

" No, madam." 

Now Iphigenia knew very well that she 
had not asked Captain Ammidon and 
Mrs. Ammidon. For, although it would 
be Christmas Eve, and although Captain 
and Mrs. Ammidon had always been 
asked to sup with her on Christmas Eve, 
she had omitted them of set purpose. 
Captain Ammidon was old and white- 
haired and fatherly Mrs. Ammidon 
did not matter; and Captain Cumnor 
was not old, nor was he white-haired or 
fatherly, but he was her very devoted 
slave or so it appeared. Her friends 
were beginning to whisper that he was 
too devoted. But I am not forgetting that 
Iphigenia was my great-grandmother or 
that she was a very charming woman 

even to Marshall ; nor that Captain 
Steele had been at sea almost continu- 
ally since they were married. And now 

it seemed that she was remembering some 
things, too, that she had been in danger 
of forgetting, and she was panic-stricken 
accordingly. For Miss Peake did not 
matter, either, nor did Mr. Hunter. 

"Dear me!" cried Iphigenia. "I 
must ask them at once. I hope they will 
overlook the lateness of the invitation 
and come. Oh, Marshall, I hope they 

" If madam will excuse me," said Mar- 
shall, still in that low voice which con- 
trived to hint at sympathy, " I think that 
they will come. They believe that it is 
through some mistake that they have not 
received their invitation. They have al- 
ways been asked, madam knows." 

" Yes, yes," said Iphigenia hastily. 
" And you will see, Marshall,- that Cap- 
tain Ammidon is seated on my right and 
Captain Cumnor on nay left. The others 
will be where you see fit to put them, 

" Yes, madam," said Marshall. And 
she opened the door again, to go out, and 
there entered a blast of air so cold that 
Iphigenia shivered as she got up to write 
her belated note to Captain Ammidon. 
It was addressed to Mrs. Ammidon and 
the words were written to Mrs. Ammi- 
don; but the spirit of it was, none the less, 
to the captain. 

And so it was come to Christmas Eve 
and the table was all dressed prettily 
Marshall had seen to that; and Iphigenia 
was all dressed, infinitely more prettily 
and Marshall had seen to that, too. 
And, when she was all dressed and ready 
to go down, she would first see her boys. 
For she was the mother of two fine boys, 
the older eight years old and the younger 
but three. They were already in bed. 

" I am afraid, madam," said Marshall, 
" that Bobby is asleep." She smiled as 
she spoke. " Madam knows that he 
wastes no time, but goes immediately to 
sleep. But Norton is awake. He was 
hoping that you would come in." 

" And so I will," said Iphigenia. Then 
she sighed. " We have too much com- 
pany, Marshall, too much company. It's 

The King's Son of Palemban 


going to be stopped." And, with that, 
she swept out; and Marshall smiled a 
knowing smile and murmured something 
under her breath. 

" Poor dear! " she said. ** Poor dear! 
If only the captain would come! It's full 

But Iphigenia swept into her sons' 
room. Norton was sitting up in the high 
bed with a warm wrapper over his shoul- 
ders. His eyes were shining. The room 
was cold and Iphigenia shivered. 

" Oh, mother! " cried Norton, softly, 
lest he wake Bobby. " You are so beau- 
tiful so beautiful ! I love to see you 
ready for parties. I wish father could 
see you now." 

Iphigenia sank down with her knees 
on the cushion that her little boys used 
to get into bed; for the bed was an old- 
fashioned, high affair, with hangings. 
And she flushed in a fashion that, Norton 
thought, made her more beautiful yet. 

" I wish father could see me, my dear 
little boy," she said. " I wish he could! " 
And she took him in her arms and 
crushed his face against hers. 

" But your pretty dress, mother! " 
protested Norton, struggling away. " It '11 
rumple it all up." 

Iphigenia was in a passion of tender- 
ness. " Never mind the dress, Norton," 
she cried. " Never mind the dress. Give 
me a great big hug a regular bear hug ! 

And Norton, although he could seldom 
be prevailed upon to do such things, 
he loved his mother dearly, but was shy 
about demonstrations, Norton com- 

" My dear little boy!" cried Iphigenia. 
" My dear little boy! " And she kissed 
him until he protested and hid his face in 
the pillow. 

And Bobby was restless and talking in 
his sleep, although neither his mother nor 
Norton could make out what he said. 
Suddenly he sat up in bed, crying and 
evidently much frightened. Iphigenia 
had him in her arms in an instant. 

" What is it, Bobby, dear ? " she said. 

" Did he have a bad dream ? Here is 
mother, and Norton is right beside you. 
Nothing can hurt Bobby." 

But Bobby kept on crying and sobbing. 
It was some minutes before he could be 
quieted. Then he opened his eyes, saw 
his mother, and clung with both arms 
about her neck. 

" Had a horrid dream," he faltered 
sleepily, " about farver, an' he was on a 
big ship an' sailin' over the wide ocean, 
an' some other little ships corned an' 
an' they an' " And Bobby was 
sleeping again, peacefully this time. 

Iphigenia laid him back in his place. 
She was strangely excited. " Now, Nor- 
ton," she said, " we will pray to the good 
God just say it to ourselves, silently 
that He will bring father safe home 

And Norton, very willingly, folded his 
hands as he sat there in bed, and his lips 
moved, while Iphigenia buried her face 
in the bedclothes as she knelt. And, hav- 
ing done, Iphigenia rose to her feet. 

" Good-night, mother," said Norton. 
"Now He will, won't He?" 

" Yes, dear little son," said Iphigenia. 
" Now He will. Good-night." 

She found Captain Cumnor warming 
his hands before the fire. He had come 
early, for some reason best known to 
himself. Iphigenia made a beautiful pic- 
ture as she came into the room with her 
emotion fresh upon her. Captain Cum- 
nor advanced to meet her and bowed low; 
and he took her hand in his and lightly 
touched her fingers with his lips. Iphi- 
genia shivered. 

" My lady is looking well, to-night," 
he said, in a low voice. His eyes said 
much more. Captain Cumnor had hand- 
some eyes. 

"I have been bidding my babies good- 
night," said Iphigenia, with a little trem- 
bling smile. 

There was something about that smile 
which seemed to Captain Cumnor to 
put him far from her. He did not like 

" And " said Captain Cumnor, 


The King's Son of Palemban 

"and ? There is something else. 
What is it?" 

" And " repeated Iphigenia, " and 

" But she could not tell him. " No," 
she replied somewhat coldly, " there is 
nothing else." 

Then Captain Ammidon came in, and 
Iphigenia was glad. And Mrs. Ammidon 
came after the captain, as they ever were, 
she following in his wake like a shadow 

or like a shark a very mild sort of 
shark; more like a dogfish or so Iphi- 
genia seemed to think. Iphigenia did not 
like Mrs. Ammidon. And Miss Peake 
and Mr. Hunter came together, and after 
a time they all went in to supper. 

It was toward the end of the supper 
that Captain Ammidon was giving toasts. 
And he had just proposed Captain 
Steele's health, with the hope that he 
might have a fortunate voyage and live 
thereafter in honor and happiness ashore. 
Captain Ammidon had retired years 
before. And they were all standing and 
had raised their glasses little, delicate 
glasses, with the leopard's head cut on 
them when Iphigenia had a feeling 
that she was about to faint. She braced 
herself; she would not faint. And then 

She was just stepping out of the cabin 
door on to the quarter-deck of the Aulis. 
Before her was Captain Steele, in the 
gold-laced uniform that he kept for state 
occasions. The mates, also, were in uni- 
form, which was unusual, and the crew, 
below, in the waist, were clad in the best 
that they could raise, which was not bad, 
for the most part, considering. It seemed 
to be about seven in the morning, al- 
though the sun was well up, being per- 
haps two hours high, or thereabouts. 
The weather was hot and sultry, with a 
promise of worse to come. 

Iphigenia was much surprised to find 
that it seemed the most natural thing in 
the world that she should be there at that 
time. There was a light air stirring, but 
not enough to fill the sails, which hung, 
almost flapping, from the yards. There 
was a cloud of canvas spread, and Iphi- 
genia noted that. She noted, too, that 

the ship was barely making steerage 
way. She advanced towards the group of 

Captain Steele was speaking to the 
mate. " Overhaul the cargo," he said, 
"or as much of it as you can, and find 
something that will do for presents." 
Iphigenia touched him on the arm. He 
looked up, and she was about to speak, 
but he held up his hand for her to be 
silent. She was silent, waiting. " Be 
quick about it," he added, to the mate. 
" They will be aboard of us in half an 

Then he turned to Iphigenia. " Good- 
morning, my dear," he said, smiling, 
" and a merry Christmas to you! " 

Iphigenia took hold of the lapels of his 
coat with both hands. She would have 
clung to him with her arms around his 
neck, but that there were the two mates 
and the whole crew to see. She turned 
imploring eyes to him. 

" Is it Christmas morning, Elliott ? A 
merry Christmas to you, if it is. I wish 
that you you could kiss me, Elli- 
ott." Her eyes filled. 

Captain Elliott Steele laughed. " Do 
you, Iphigenia ? Well, bless you, I can." 
He bent and kissed her full on the mouth. 
" If everything were as easy as that 
and as pleasant! A man may kiss his 
wife, I hope, on Christmas morning, with- 
out exciting remark." 

She was happy, then. " And where 
are you now, Elliott ? And why have you 
got your uniform on and why is 
everything ? Tell me." 

Captain Steele laughed again, a full, 
round laugh. " No time for an answer to 
that. We are in latitude about nine fifty 
south, and longitude one hundred and 
five forty-four east. I have not taken an 
observation to-day, but that land you see 
over there is Christmas Island, and the 
water you see is the Indian Ocean. And 
the feluccas you see rowing this way are, 
I suspect, buccaneers, who will be aboard 
of us in less than half an hour, now. And 
the wind that you don't see is what I 
wish devoutly that there was, to help us 

The King's Son of Palembai 


show them a clean pair of heels. But 
don't you be frightened, Iphigenia," he 
added hastily. " I think that we shall 
circumvent them." 

Iphigenia was not frightened. She 
looked over the water, that rolled in long, 
lazy swells, unruffled by a breeze, and, 
far down upon the northern horizon, she 
thought that she saw the high land of 
Christmas Island, although she was not 
very sure. It made but a darker patch of 
blue on the blue of the horizon, at the 
best. And to the eastward she saw four 
boats the " little ships " of Bobby's 
dream, she thought that, in the ab- 
sence of wind, had out a forest of oars 
and were closing in, in a leisurely man- 
ner, upon their prey. Each little ship 
was crowded with men. And she won- 
dered wondered and said nothing. 

" You keep near me," said Captain 
Steele, " and whatever I may do I 
don't know, yet, what I shall do you 
follow my lead. You understand, Iphi- 
genia ? Follow my lead." 

" Yes," said Iphigenia. 

In the crew there was one man who 
could speak the native language of those 
parts. Captain Steele had that man 
called to act as interpreter, for he himself 
knew but little of that tongue. And he 
had a gangway put over the side, and the 
first of the boats drew near and hung, a 
few oars' lengths away. A man stood 
out from the mass of men, but, before he 
could speak, the interpreter called to him. 

" Peace be with you! " he said. 

And the man looked surprised, but he 
answered, and in his own tongue. 

" And with you, peace," he said. 

And, with that, the interpreter, at Cap- 
tain Steele's bidding, asked him to come 
aboard, with thirty of his men there 
were thirty men in the crew of the Aulis 

and be the guests of the Aulis at din- 
ner. And, after a few minutes of hesita- 
tion no doubt he had some fear that 
he might, I say, be walking into a trap, 
he and his men ; it was a reasonable fear 

after a few minutes, he came, and cer- 
tain of his men from each of the boats 

came also. But the boats took up their 
stations about the ship, about a cable's 
length away, as though they meant to 
stay there. And Captain Steele, clad in 
his gorgeous uniform, and the mates, and 
Iphigenia, a little timorous, waited at the 
head of the gangway. 

The man came up and bounded lightly 
on deck, his men behind him. He looked 
alertly about him, ready for anything, it 
seemed; then, seeing only the officers in 
their uniforms, and a certain timorous 
lady, he smiled and touched his head and 
his lips and his breast, and made a low 
salaam, and said something which no- 
body understood. There was not time 
for the interpreter; and, besides, he had 
gone with the crew. Captain Steele held 
out his hand, which the man took, and 
he was presented to Mrs. Steele, although 
it is to be feared that he understood no 
more of what was going on than they did 
of his language. 

He was a handsome man, younger than 
Captain Steele, with a little black mus- 
tache which turned up, quite cunningly, 
at the ends, and, on his head, a big turban 
of fine linen. Iphigenia laughed as she 
looked into his eyes, but whether from 
relief or from nervousness or from what 
other cause soever she could not have 
told, for the life of her. But she felt no 
fear of him. And he, seeing her laughing, 
and her eyes looking frankly into his, 
smiled merrily back again. And, at that, 
Captain Steele laughed too, and they all 
went into the cabin together. 

" It's a little early for our Christmas 
dinner," said Captain Steele, " but we'll 
have it, if the steward has done his duty. 
If not, I'll string him up." 

And again they all smiled, though it 
must have been more from the friendly 
feeling which had come over them than 
because of Captain Steele's words. And 
their guest was seated cross-legged on 
cushions that had been placed upon a 
divan. This divan commonly did duty 
as a transom and locker, in which were 
kept various papers of Captain Steele's; 
among them, the log of the voyage which 


The King's Son of Palemban 

is before me now. And at the other end 
of the table sat Captain Steele, with 
Iphigenia and the first mate on either 
side; and the door opened and a badly 
frightened steward began serving the 

It was a merry meal, in spite of the fact 
that nobody could understand a word 
that their guest said; and, noting that, 
which was plain enough, he seemed to 
have a certain pleasure in talking much. 
It was to be supposed that he could un- 
derstand no more of what was said to 
him. And presently, Captain Steele, get- 
ting tired, as I suppose, of understanding 
nothing that his guest said, and being 
equally weary of keeping the smile on 
his face and not knowing what he smiled 
at,' had the interpreter fetched to help 
them out. It was rather hard on him, 
taking him away from his dinner and 
making him stand behind the captain's 
chair, from which point he could smell 
the dinner well enough, but could not 
get so much as a taste of it. There was 
no turkey, nor yet goose; but there was a 
very passable soup, and excellent salt 
horse and plum-duff to come, and Cap- 
tain Steele could keep wines well enough, 
if he could not keep fresh meat. 

The guest observed the salt horse with 
some amusement, and tasted everything, 
though he did scarcely more. Then, 
when the salt horse was finished, it 
was the second course, he said some- 
thing to Captain Steele, with much smil- 
ing and many gestures. Captain Steele 
looked at the interpreter, whose face was 

" He says, captain, will my lord par- 
don him for suggesting, and accept a 
slight contribution from his stores? For 
he has been ashore within these two days, 
at Java, and there procured fresh meat 
and a trifle or two, which he well under- 
stands that his excellency has not had 
this long time, being at sea. And he be- 
lieves the trifles he mentions will be grate- 
ful to his lord and honorable lady, and 
to the crew, and he hopes that you will 
deign to accept them. And I make bold 

to say, captain, that I hope you will." 

At which ending Captain Steele burst 
out laughing, as did Iphigenia and the 
mate ; and their guest laughed as merrily, 
which made Iphigenia wonder whether 
he really understood no more than he 
seemed to. But Captain Steele thanked 
him heartily for his courtesy and said 
that he would gladly accept whatever he 
offered. And he, not waiting for the inter- 
preter to interpret, murmured his ex- 
cuses and arose and hastened on deck, 
with Captain Steele following after as 
fast as he could. But Iphigenia waited 
there with the mate. 

And, after a while, there entered Cap- 
tain Steele with their guest, and, strangely 
enough, he had his hand on the man's 
shoulder, as if he were an old friend. 

" Iphigenia," said the captain, " what 
do you think of him? He understands 
English as well as I, and he has been 
fooling us all this time. As for you," he 
added, to the interpreter, " you can go 
forward to your dinner." 

" Aye, aye, sir; thank you, sir," said 
the man; and went out, laughing silently. 

" I make my apologies to the lady and 
the honorable captain," said the guest; 
" but it was necessary that I be sure that 
there was no plan to trap us, me and my 
men. Now we can enjoy our dinner in 

" In fullness," echoed Captain Steele. 

Iphigenia laughed again. And imme- 
diately there entered men bearing dishes 
in their hands. And they set them down 
and whipped off the covers, and there 
were pheasants, smoking hot, and many 
another thing that I do not know the 
name of, for neither Iphigenia, nor Cap- 
tain Steele in his log, has said what they 
were. But I am sure enough that they 
must have tasted good to Captain Steele 
and his sailors, who had been three 
months without fresh meat or fruits, or 
anything much better than salt beef. 

And, when the dinner was over, Cap- 
tain Steele gave an order, and there was 
brought in to him, as he sat at the table, 
a box of carved ebony inlaid on the top 

The King's Son of Palemban 


and sides with silver. And the captain 
made a little speech, which I will not try 
to give he had been drinking toasts, 
which will account for his readiness with 
his tongue ; for he was not used to making 
speeches, and he did not like to he 
made a speech, presenting the box and 
its contents to his guest, in memory of a 
pleasant occasion. And he pushed the 
box across the table, turned the silver 
key, and opened it. There lay a pretty 
pair of pistols, with their grips inlaid 
with some fine and beautiful design in 
silver, also. 

" I had nothing else that I could offer 
you," said Captain Steele. " I hope you 
will not be using them upon my friends." 
And he laughed in somewhat embar- 
rassed fashion. 

Iphigenia saw a deep red suffuse the 
dark color of the man's cheek, and she 
feared that the captain might have trans- 
gressed some rule of which he was igno- 
rant. Then the man laughed as if he was 
pleased, and, feeling beneath the neck of 
his robe, he drew forth a chain of pearls. 
It was a long chain, and they were beauti- 
ful great pearls, each one perfect; and 
they grew from little to big, and at the 
bottom of the loop was a pendant with 
an enormous blue pearl in it. Iphigenia 
drew a long, shivering breath at the sight. 
She liked pearls very much; no doubt 
she would have said that she loved them. 
And the man rose, smiling, and went over 
to Captain Steele and bowed. 

" I beg that you will accept this trifle 
for madam," he said. And, seeing the 
doubt growing on Captain Steele's face, 
he laughed. " I did not take it from one 
of your friends," he continued. " It is 
nothing. It will give me pleasure to have 
madam wear it to remember a pleas- 
ant occasion." 

And there was nothing else for the 
captain to do but to take it, which he did 
with what grace was in him, and with 
but feeble protest. As for Iphigenia, she 
went red and pale by turns, and could 
only stammer her thanks. And, in time, 
they went on deck and the man betook 

him to his boat again and sailed away. 
For a gentle breeze had arisen, with, now 
and then, hard squalls. And great thun- 
der heads darkened the water, but it was 
yet hot. Iphigenia leaned upon the rail 
and watched the boats and waved her 
handkerchief. She was no longer timor- 

The men of the Aulis were taking in 
sail. Captain Steele leaned on the rail, 
beside Iphigenia, and watched the boats. 
Their crews seemed to have no idea of 
taking in any sail, but they went with all 
that they could carry. "The fools!" 
said he. " Well perhaps they know 
their own boats best." 

And he shrugged his shoulders and 
turned away. Iphigenia watched the 
boats as they drew abreast of Christmas 
Island. It was very squally there, the 
wind drawing off the high land in puffs 
and swirls. She saw the boats careen, 
one after another, under one of these 
puffs, and recover; then, seemingly, there 
came a blast of great force. It knocked 
them flat, so that they went over like a 
row of ten-pins, and the men were strug- 
gling in the water. Iphigenia gave a 
little scream and dropped to the deck. 

Queer things were happening to her. 
She would have cried out with the horror 
of it, but she could not raise her voice 
above a whisper. 

" Oh, is he drowned ? " she said. " Tell 
me, is he drowned ? " 

It was very still, and she was about to 
repeat her question. Then she heard 
voices, low and far off. And she opened 
her eyes, and she saw faces turned to 
hers, over the candles ; but she saw them 
vaguely and indistinctly, as if they were 
dream-faces. Then they came nearer and 
were more real, and she knew them. She 
was in her own dining-room and she still 
held the little glass in her hand the 
little glass with the leopard's head cut 
in it and her other hand gripped the 
table so hard that it was numb. And 
Captain Ammidon and Mrs. Ammidon 
were looking at her, their faces beginning 
to show the fear they felt, and they whis- 


The King's Son of Palemban 

pered together. Captain Cumnor was 
looking at her, too. Miss Peake and Mr. 
Hunter did not matter, as I have said. 

" My lady is not well ? " asked Captain 
Cumnor, in a low and anxious voice. 
There was more in his voice than in his 
words infinitely more, and his eyes 
expressed more than his voice. They 
said but it does not matter, now, what 
they said; if he had only known it, the 
time was already past when it could 
matter to Iphigenia what he said, whether 
with lips or voice or eyes. And his voice 
was so low that even Captain Ammidon, 
on Iphigenia's other hand, did not hear. 
But Captain Ammidon was deaf. As his 
lady did not reply, Captain Cumnor 
went on, 

" Let me take you into " 

And Iphigenia turned upon him a look 
that would have frozen his heart within 
him if he had had a heart so filled 
was it with contempt and loathing. 

" I am quite well, thank you," she 
said; and shuddered and turned again 
and drank her wine. How long had she 
been standing there, holding that glass ? 

Captain Cumnor was surprised at the 
look she gave him; surprised out of his 
discretion. What could he know of the 
workings of a woman's mind ? What did 
the woman herself know of them, for that 
matter? But he was no fool. He could 
see through a hole in a millstone. 

" I am very glad that you are well," 
he said. " I was beginning to fear that, 
perhaps, you were not." And he shrugged 
his shoulders. 

His words were well enough, but his 
voice was an insult; and no woman 
would have cared to see his eyes as he 
spoke. Iphigenia turned towards him, 
and her words cut like knives. 

" I fear it is you who are ill, Captain 
Cumnor," she said. " If you feel that 
you should go home, we will excuse you." 

Captain Cumnor smiled an evil smile. 
" I am indebted to you, madam," he 
said. " I hesitated to ask so great a 
favor." He turned to the others. " Mrs. 
Steele is kind enough to excuse me at 

once. She thinks I am ill and ought to 
be at home. Good-night." And he bowed 
and was gone. 

Mr. Hunter and Miss Peake gaped in 
astonishment and Mrs. Ammidon smiled 
grimly. Only Captain Ammidon reached 
over and took Iphigenia's hand. He did 
not smile but he looked affectionately at 
her. " Casting pearls, my dear," said he; 
" casting pearls." 

Involuntarily, Iphigenia reached up to 
feel her pearls. They were her own amber 
beads that she felt between her fingers. 

Iphigenia never saw Captain Cumnor 
again, which was just as well, no doubt. 
But when Captain Steele came back, 
nearly a year later, he handed her a 
packet. And she undid the packet, with 
fingers that trembled a little, and she 
drew out from its wrappings a string of 
pearls. It was a long chain, and they 
were beautiful great pearls, each one 
perfect; and they grew from little to big, 
and at the bottom of the loop was a pen- 
dant with an enormous blue pearl in it. 
Captain Steele watched her as she drew 
them forth, but he said nothing, only 
stood there, smiling slightly. 

And Iphigenia raised shy eyes to his. 
" Was he drowned ? " she whispered. 
" Tell me, was he drowned ? " 

Captain Steele laughed. "I don't 
know what you can know about them 
or him," he said. " But I will show 

And he went and fetched his log: the 
log of the Aulis on the voyage from Bos- 
ton towards Manila, beginning Septem- 
ber the twenty-seventh, 1821. And he 
opened it and turned to a certain page, 
and set it before her. That same log lies 
open before me now, and at the same 
place. And I will mention, in passing, 
that I have that same string of pearls in 
my strong box at the bank. It is a long 
chain still as long as when it was 
Iphigenia's and they are beautiful 
great pearls ; but some of them are turned 
dark. It is nearly a century since Iphi- 
genia got them. 

At sea the day began, for Captain 

The King's Son of Palembai 


Steele at least, at noon; which will ac- 
count for the date of the entry. And so 
December the twenty-fourth, " latter 
part," would correspond to the forenoon 
of the twenty-fifth, as we reckon days 
ashore. He mentions it. And, if Captain 
Steele had been of a religious turn, he 
might well have filled a page of the book 
with a prayer. Captains of those days 
often filled nearly a page with prayers, 
of a Sunday uncommon long ones, too, 
though, no doubt, they were sincere. And 
this was Christmas Day, which would 
have been excuse enough, if one were 
needed. But Captain Steele contents 
himself with the briefest; though it must 
have been heartfelt. 

Monday, Dec 24th, 1821. 88 days. 
Comes in gentle S. E. gales and pleas- 
ant weather. Set royals and skysails. 
Middle part light airs. Set royal steer- 
ing sails. At daylight saw Christmas 
Island bearing N. by W. about five 

Christmas morning at home and 
here. May God bless us all and all who 
are dear to us, and grant us a safe return 
to our native land. Amen! 

Latter part squally, with thunder, 
lightning and rain. Sent down all steer- 
ing sails, royals, T. Gallant sails and 
skysails and reef'd main topsail. At about 
10 A. M. pass'd the Island distance about 
three miles. Very squally while passing 
the Island, with great numbers of Boo- 
bies and Man-o'-War birds round the 
Ship. Ends with fresh trades and passing 
clouds. All proper sail set. 

At about 7 A. M. sighted four feluccas 
bearing down on us, which I took to be 
buccaneers. Had the mates (and my- 
self) in our best uniform to their great 
astonishment, and the men in their best, 
and received them hospitably. Christ- 
mas dinner at 8 A. M. (rather early) at 
which the captain of the buccaneers 
show'd himself a friendly fellow and a 
man of a pretty wit. Mirabile dictu! 
Made him a present of my silver- mounted 
pistols, with the hope that he would not 
VOL. 102 -NO. 2 

use them on my friends. He, in turn, 
presented me with a string of pearls for 
Mrs. Steele. (I had a curious sense of her 
presence with me all through dinner and 
for a little while after. Then she was 
gone.) Very handsome pearls, if I am 
any judge. Wondered where they came 
from, but asked no troublesome ques- 
tions, being thankfull for our own escape. 
God moves in a mysterious way. After 
dinner, the captain of the buccaneers 
took to his boats and stood away from 
us, in towards Christmas Island. Very 
heavy squall capsized all boats. Stood in 
as fast as we could, but had to make some 
sail. Picked up the captain and the most 
part of his people. 

And when Iphigenia had finished the 
reading of the log for that day, Captain 
Steele stooped and turned a page. 
" There! " he said, " Read that, too." 
And he turned away to hide a smile. 

So Iphigenia read. 

Thursday, Dec. 27th, 1821. 91 ds. 
At anchor in Mero Bay, the peak on 
Prince's Island bearing N. by W., the 
North Extreme of Java N. 38 E. the 
Watering Place on Java Shore S. 25 E. 
Sent the boats for water. Our Captain 
of Buccaneeres gone with them, with his 
men. The boats returned at five, having 
2010 gals, water. Took in boats and 
water and got under way and made sail 
through the straits. Stood in for Anger 
at 11 A. M. I went ashore and left letters 
for Boston and procured a supply of 
fowls, vegetable and turtle. Ends light 
airs from N. & W. 

Friday, Dec, 28th, 1821. 92 ds. Comes 
in light airs and pleasant weather. At 
1 o'k, I came on board with our sup- 
plies, procured of Amon, a Chinaman, 
having heard by the master commandant 
(Van Bassal) of the recovery of Palemban 
by the Dutch and the taking of the King, 
then a prisoner on board a Dutch Man of 
War at Batavia, and the escape of the 
King's son, with a party. It is thought 
that he may have sailed to make war 

178 Morrice Water 

upon the Dutch. Can he be our captain Iphigenia looked up from her reading, 

of buccaneers! a question in her eyes. " Was he? " she 

Ends with It. airs and variable. Three asked, at last. 

ships in sight supposed bound for Ba- Captain Steele laughed. " He was, J 

tavia, one of which is the English ship found, the King's son of Palemban." 

Amity of Whitby, 157 days from Eng- Truly, he loved a joke, that King's son 

land. of Palemban. 



ALONG the shallows of the river 

That flows by Hemlock Mountain's side, 

There is a street of elms and gardens, 
With flower-de-luce and London-pride; 

All green and blue and white reflected 
Within the still and dreaming tide. 

When from the castellated steeple 

The bell's melodious long refrain, 
Full early on a Sabbath morning, 

Is heard across the windy plain, 
Along that street the flowered waistcoat 

And polonaise appear again. 

In the Town Hall, at springtime parties, 
To many a quaint and charming tune, 

They play "Where art thou?" and "King William;" 
And still beneath the autumn moon 

Lead forth to " Money Musk " their partners, 
And dance the reel and rigadoon. 

And when the graybeards fill the tavern 
With talk of camp, and sword, and gun, 

They mingle Shiloh and Stone River 
With Concord, and with Lexington; 

Until through yesterdays forever 
The Morrice Water seems to run. 



THERE are five groups interested in 
literary criticism: publishers of books, 
authors, publishers of reviews, critics, 
and, finally, the reading public. 

An obvious interest of all the groups 
but the last is financial. For the publisher 
of books, although he may have his 
pride, criticism is primarily an advertise- 
ment : he hopes that his books will be so 
praised as to commend them to buyers. 
For the publisher of book-reviews, al- 
though he also may have his pride, criti- 
cism is primarily an attraction for ad- 
vertisements : he hopes that his reviews 
will lead publishers of books to advertise 
in his columns. For the critic, whatever 
his ideals, criticism is, in whole or in part, 
his livelihood. For the author, no matter 
how disinterested, criticism is reputation 
perhaps a reputation that can be 
coined. In respect of this financial inter- 
est, all four are opposed to the* public, 
which wants nothing but competent serv- 
ice, a guide to agreeable reading, an 
adviser in selecting gifts, a herald of new 
knowledge, a giver of intellectual delight. 

All five groups are discontented with 
the present condition of American criti- 

Publishers of books complain that 
reviews do not help sales. Publishers of 
magazines lament that readers do not 
care for articles on literary subjects. 
Publishers of newspapers frankly doubt 
the interest of book-notices. The critic 
confesses that his occupation is ill-con- 
sidered and ill-paid. The author wrath- 
fully exclaims but what he exclaims 
cannot be summarized , so various is it. 
Thus, the whole commercial interest is 
unsatisfied. The public, on the other 
hand, finds book-reviews of little service 
and reads them, if at all, with indiffer- 
ence, with distrust, or with exasperation. 

That part of the public which appre- 
ciates criticism as an art maintains an 
eloquent silence and reads French. 

Obviously, what frets the commercial 
interest is the public indifference to book- 
reviews. What is the cause of that? 

In critical writing, what is the base of 
interest, the indispensable foundation in 
comparison with which all else is super- 
structure ? I mentioned the public which, 
appreciating criticism as an art, turns 
from America to France for what it 
craves. Our sympathies respond to the 
call of our own national life, and may not 
be satisfied by Frenchmen; if we turn to 
them, we do so for some attraction which 
compensates for the absence of intimate 
relation to our needs. What is it? Of 
course, French mastery of form accounts 
in part for our intellectual absenteeism; 
but it does not account for it wholly, not, 
I think, even in the main. Consider the 
two schools of French criticism typified 
by Brunetiere and Anatole France. Men 
like Brunetiere seem to believe that what 
they say is important, not merely to fel- 
low dilettanti or to fellow scholars, but 
to the public and to the mass of the pub- 
lic; they seem to write, not to display 
their attainments, but to use their attain- 
ments to accomplish their end; they put 
their whole strength, intellectual and 
moral, into their argument; they seek to 
make converts, to crush enemies. They 
are in earnest, they feel responsible, they 
take their office with high seriousness. 
They seem to think that the soul and the 
character of the people are as important 
as its economic comfort. The problem 
of a contemporary, popular author 
even if contemporary, even if popular 
is to them an important question; the 
intellectual, moral, and aesthetic ideals 
which he is spreading through the coun- 



Honest Literary Criticism 

try are to be tested rigorously, then ap- 
plauded or fought. They seek to be clear 
because they wish to interest, they wish to 
interest because they wish to convince, 
they wish to convince because they have 
convictions which they believe should 

The men like Anatole France if 
there are any others like Anatole France 
have a different philosophy of life. 
They are doubtful of endeavor, doubtful 
of progress, doubtful of new schools of 
art, doubtful of new solutions whether 
in philosophy or economics; but they 
have a quick sensitiveness to beauty and 
a profound sympathy with suffering man. 
Not only do they face their doubts, but 
they make their readers face them. They 
do not pretend, they do not conceal ; they 
flatter no conventions and no prejudices ; 
they are sincere. Giving themselves with- 
out reserve, they do not speak what they 
think will please you, but rather try with 
all their art to please you with what they 

In the French critics of both types 
the men like Brunetiere, the men like 
Anatole France there is this common, 
this invaluable characteristic, I mean 
intellectual candor. That is their great 
attraction; that is the foundation of 

Intellectual candor does not mark 
American criticism. The fault is pri- 
marily the publisher's. It lies in the fun- 
damental mistake that he makes in the 
matter of publicity. Each publisher, that 
is, treats each new book as if it were the 
only one that he had ever published, were 
publishing, or ever should publish. He 
gives all his efforts to seeing that it is 
praised. He repeats these exertions with 
some success for each book that he prints. 
Meanwhile, every other publisher is 
doing as much for every new book of his 
own. The natural result follows a 
monotony of praise which permits no 
books to stand out, and which, however 
plausible in the particular instance, is, 
in the mass, incredible. 

But how is it that the publisher's fiat 

produces praise ? The answer is implicit 
in the fact that criticism is supported, not 
by the public, but by the publisher. 
Upon the money which the publisher of 
books is ready to spend for advertising 
depends the publisher of book-reviews; 
upon him in turn depends the critic. 

Between the publisher of books anx- 
ious for favorable reviews and willing 
to spend money, and the publisher of a 
newspaper anxious for advertisements 
and supporting a dependent critic, the 
chance to trade is perfect. Nothing sor- 
did need be said or indeed perceived ; all 
may be left to the workings of human 
nature. Favorable reviews are printed, 
advertisements are received ; and no one, 
not even the principals, need be certain 
that the reviews are not favorable be- 
cause the books are good, or that the 
advertisements are not given because the 
comment is competent and just. Never- 
theless, the Silent Bargain has been deco- 
rously struck. Once reached, it tends of 
itself to becpme ever more close, intimate, 
and inclusive. The publisher of books is 
continuously tempted to push his ad- 
vantage with the complaisant publisher 
of a newspaper ; the publisher of a news- 
paper is continuously tempted to pitch 
ever higher and still higher the note of 

But the Silent Bargain is not made 
with newspapers only. Obviously, critics 
can say nothing without the consent of 
some publisher; obviously, their alter- 
natives are silence or submission. They 
who write for the magazines are wooed 
to constant surrender ; they must, or they 
think that they must, be tender of all 
authors who have commercial relations 
with the house that publishes the periodi- 
cal to which they are contributing. Even 
they who write books are not exempt: 
they must, or they feel that they must, 
deal gently with reputations commer- 
cially dear to their publisher. If the critic 
is timid, or amiable, or intriguing, or 
struck with poverty, he is certain, what- 
ever his rank, to dodge, to soften, to 
omit whatever he fears may disple 

Honest Literary Criticism . 


the publisher on whom he depends. Self- 
ish considerations thus tend ever to 
emasculate criticism, criticism thus tends 
ever to assume more and more nearly the 
most dishonest and exasperating form of 
advertisement, that of the " reading no- 
tice " which presents itself as sincere, 
spontaneous testimony. Disingenuous 
criticism tends in its turn to puzzle and 
disgust the public and to hurt the pub- 
lisher. The puff is a boomerang. 

Its return blow is serious ; it would be 
fatal, could readers turn away wholly 
from criticism. What saves the publisher 
is that they cannot. They have continu- 
ous, practical need of books, and must 
know about them. The multitudinous 
paths of reading stretch away at every 
angle, and the traveling crowd must 
gather and guess and wonder about the 
guide-post criticism, even if each finger, 
contradicting every other, points to its 
own road as that " To Excellence." 

Wayfarers in like predicament would 
question one another. It is so with read- 
ers. Curiously enough, publishers de- 
clare that their best advertising flows 
from this private talk. They all agree 
that, whereas reviews sell nothing, the 
gossip of readers sells much. Curiously, 
I say; for this gossip is not under their 
control; it is as often adverse as favor- 
able; it kills as much as it sells. More- 
over, when it kills, it kills in secret: it 
leaves the bewildered publisher without 
a clue to the culprit or his motive. How, 
then, can it be superior to the controlled, 
considerate flattery of the public press? 
It is odd that publishers never seriously 
ask themselves this question, for the 
answer, if I have it, is instructive. The 
dictum of the schoolgirl that a novel is 
" perfectly lovely " or " perfectly hor- 
rid," comes from the heart. The com- 
ment of society women at afternoon tea, 
the talk of business men at the club, if 
seldom of much critical value, is sincere. 
In circles in which literature is loved, the 
witty things which clever men and clever 
women say about books are inspired by 
the fear neither of God nor of man. In 

circles falsely literary, parrot talk and 
affectation hold sway, but the talkers 
have an absurd faith in one another. In 
short, all private talk about books bears 
the stamp of sincerity. That is what 
makes the power of the spoken word. 
It is still more potent when it takes the 
form, not of casual mention, but of real 
discussion. When opinions differ, talk 
becomes animated, warm, continuous. 
Listeners are turned into partisans. A 
lively, unfettered dispute over a book by 
witty men, no matter how prejudiced, or 
by clever women, no matter how un- 
learned, does not leave the listener in- 
different. He is tempted to read that 

Now, what the publisher needs in or- 
der to print with financial profit the best 
work and much work, is the creation of a 
wide general interest in literature. This 
vastly transcends in importance the fate 
of any one book or group of books. In- 
stead, then, of trying to start in the pub- 
lic press a chorus of stupid praise, why 
should he not endeavor to obtain a re- 
production of what he acknowledges that 
his experience has taught him is his main 
prop and support, the frank word, the 
unfettered dispute of private talk? Let 
him remember what has happened when 
the vivacity of public opinion has forced 
this reproduction. It is history that those 
works have been best advertised over 
which critics have fought Hugo's 
dramas, Wagner's music, Whitman's 
poems, Zola's novels, Mrs. Stowe's Uncle 

Does it not all suggest the folly of the 
Silent Bargain ? 

I have spoken always of tendencies. 
Public criticism never has been and never 
will be wholly dishonest, even when in 
the toils of the Silent Bargain; it never 
has been and never will be wholly honest, 
even with that cuttlefish removed. But 
if beyond cavil it tended towards sin- 
cerity, the improvement would be large. 
In the measure of that tendency it would 
gain the public confidence without which 
it can benefit no one not even the 


Honest Literary Criticism 

publisher. For his own sake he should 
do what he can to make the public regard 
the critic, not as a mere megaphone for 
his advertisements, but as an honest man 
who speaks his honest mind. To this 
end, he should deny his foolish taste for 
praise, and, even to the hurt of individual 
ventures, use his influence to foster inde- 
pendence in the critic. 

In the way of negative help, he should 
cease to tempt lazy and indifferent re- 
viewers with ready-made notices, the 
perfunctory and insincere work of some 
minor employee; he should stop sending 
out, as " literary " notes, thinly disguised 
advertisements and irrelevant personali- 
ties; he should no longer supply photo- 
graphs of his authors in affected poses 
that display their vanity much and their 
talent not at all. That vulgarity he should 
leave to those who have soubrettes to 
exploit; he should not treat his authors 
as if they were variety artists unless, 
indeed, they are just that, and he himself 
on the level of the manager of a low 
vaudeville house. These cheap devices 
lower his dignity as a publisher, they are 
a positive hurt to the reputation of his 
authors, they make less valuable to him 
the periodical that prints them, and they 
are an irritation and an insult to the 
critic, for one and all they are attempts 
to insinuate advertising into his honest 
columns. Frankly, they are modes of 
corruption, and degrade the whole busi- 
ness of writing. 

In the way of positive help, he should 
relieve of every commercial preoccupa- 
tion not only the editors and contributors 
of any magazines that he may control, 
but also those authors of criticism and 
critical biography whose volumes he may 
print. Having cleaned his own house, 
he should steadily demand of the publi- 
cations in which he advertises a higher 
grade of critical writing, and select the 
periodicals to which to send his books for 
notice according, not to the partiality, 
"but to the ability of their reviews. Thus 
he would do much to make others follow 
his own good example. 

What of the author? In respect of 
criticism, the publisher, of course, has no 
absolute rights, not even that of having 
his books noticed at all. His interests 
only have been in question, and, in the 
long run and in the mass, these will not 
he harmed, but benefited, by criticism 
honestly adverse. He has in his writers 
a hundred talents, and if his selection is 
shrewd most of them bring profit. Frank 
criticism will but help the task of judi- 
cious culling. But all that has been said 
assumes the cheerful sacrifice of the par- 
ticular author who must stake his all 
upon his single talent. Does his com- 
parative helplessness give him any right 
to tender treatment? 

It does not: in respect of rights his, 
precisely, is the predicament of the pub- 
lisher. If an author puts forth a book 
for sale, he obviously can be accorded 
no privilege incompatible with the right 
of the public to know its value. He 
cannot ask to have the public fooled for 
his benefit; he cannot ask to have his 
feelings saved, if to save them the critic 
must neglect to inform his readers. That 
is rudimentary. Nor may the author 
argue more subtly that, until criticism 
is a science and truth unmistakable, he 
should be given the benefit of the doubt. 
This was the proposition behind the plea, 
strongly urged not so long ago, that all 
criticism should be " sympathetic; " that 
is, that the particular critic is qualified to 
judge those writers only whom on the 
whole he likes. Love, it was declared, is 
the only key to understanding. The 
obvious value of the theory to the Silent 
Bargain accounts for its popularity with 
the commercial interests. Now, no one 
can quarrel with the criticism of appre- 
ciation it is full of charm and service ; 
but to pretend that it should be the only 
criticism is impertinent and vain. To 
detect the frivolity of such a pretension, 
one has only to apply it to public affairs : 
imagine a political campaign in which 
the candidates were criticised only by 
their friends! No: the critic should at- 
tack whatever he thinks is bad, and he 

Honest Literary Criticism 


is quite as likely to be right when he does 
so as when he applauds what he thinks 
is good. In a task wherein the interest of 
the public is the one that every time and 
all the time should be served, mercy to 
the author is practically always a be- 
trayal. To the public, neither the vanity 
nor the purse of the author is of the 
slightest consequence. Indeed, a criticism 
powerful enough to curb the conceit of 
some authors, and to make writing wholly 
unprofitable to others would be an ad- 
vantage to the public, to really meritori- 
ous authors, and to the publisher. 

And the publisher to consider his 
interests again for a moment would 
gain not merely by the suppression of 
useless, but by the discipline of spoiled, 
writers. For the Silent Bargain so works 
as to give to many an author an exag- 
gerated idea of his importance. It leads 
the publisher himself what with his 
complaisant reviewers, his literary notes, 
his personal paragraphs, his widely dis- 
tributed photographs to do all that 
he can to turn the author's head. Some- 
times he succeeds. When the spoiled 
writer, taking all this au grand serieux, 
asks why sales are not larger, then how 
hard is the publisher pressed for an an- 
swer! If the author chooses to believe, 
not the private but the public statement 
of his merit, and bases upon it either a 
criticism of his publisher's energy or a 
demand for further publishing favors, 
increase of advertising, higher royalties, 
what not, the publisher is in a ridicu- 
lous and rather troublesome quandary. 
None but the initiated know what he has 
occasionally to endure from the arrogance 
of certain writers. Here fearless criticism 
should help him much. 

But if the conceit of some authors 
offends, the sensitiveness of others awak- 
ens sympathy. The author does his work 
in solitude; his material is his own soul; 
his anxiety about a commercial venture 
is complicated with the apprehension of 
the recluse who comes forth into the 
market-place with his heart upon his 
sleeve. Instinctively he knows that, as 

his book is himself, or at least a fragment 
of himself, criticism of it is truly criticism 
of him, not of his intellectual ability 
merely, but of his essential character, his 
real value as a man. Let no one laugh 
until he has heard and survived the most 
intimate, the least friendly comment upon 
his own gifts and traits made in public 
for the delectation of his friends and ac- 
quaintances and of the world at large. 
Forgivably enough, the author is of all 
persons the one most likely to be unjust 
to critics and to criticism. In all ages he 
has made bitter counter-charges, and 
flayed the critics as they have flayed him. 
His principal complaints are three : first, 
that all critics are disappointed authors; 
second, that many are young and incom- 
petent, or simply incompetent; third, that 
they do not agree. Let us consider them 
in turn. 

Although various critics write with 
success other things than criticism, the 
first complaint is based, I believe, upon 
what is generally a fact. It carries two 
implications: the first, that one cannot 
competently judge a task which he is 
unable to perform himself; the second, 
that the disappointed author is blinded 
by jealousy. As to the first, no writer ever 
refrained out of deference to it from 
criticising, or even discharging, his cook. 
As to the second, jealousy does not always 
blind, sometimes it gives keenness of 
vision. The disappointed author turned 
critic may indeed be incompetent; but, 
if he is so, it is for reasons that his dis- 
appointment does not supply. If he is 
able, his disappointment will, on the 
contrary, help his criticism. He will have 
a wholesome contempt for facile success ; 
he will measure by exacting standards. 
Moreover, the thoughts of a talented man 
about an art for the attainment of which 
he has striven to the point of despair are 
certain to be valuable; his study of the 
masters has been intense, his study of his 
contemporaries has had the keenness of 
an ambitious search for the key to suc- 
cess. His criticism, even if saturated with 
envy, will have value. In spite of all that 


Honest Literary Criticism 

partisans of sympathetic criticism may 
say, hatred and malice may give as much 
insight into character as love. Sainte- 
Beuve was a disappointed author, jealous 
of the success of others. 

But ability is necessary. Envy and 
malice, not reinforced by talent, can win 
themselves small satisfaction, and do no 
more than transient harm ; for then they 
work at random and make wild and 
senseless charges. To be dangerous to 
the author, to be valuable to the public, 
to give pleasure to their possessor, they 
must be backed by acuteness to perceive 
and judgment to proclaim real flaws only. 
The disappointed critic of ability knows 
that the truth is what stings, and if he 
seeks disagreeable truth, at least he seeks 
truth. He knows also that continual 
vituperation is as dull as continual praise ; 
if only to give relief to his censure, he will 
note what is good. He will mix honey 
with the gall. So long as he speaks truth, 
he does a useful work, and his motives 
are of no consequence to any one but 
himself. Even if he speaks it with un- 
necessary roughness, the author cannot 
legitimately complain. Did he suppose 
that he was sending his book into a world 
of gentlemen only ? Truth is truth, and 
a boor may have it. That the standard 
of courtesy is sometimes hard to square 
with that of perfect sincerity is the dilem- 
ma of the critic ; but the author can quar- 
rel with the fact no more than with the 
circumstance that in a noisy world he 
can write best where there is quiet. If he 
suffers, let him sift criticism through his 
family; consoling himself, meanwhile, 
with the reflection that there is criticism 
of criticism and that any important 
critic will ultimately know his pains. 
Leslie Stephen was so sensitive that he 
rarely read reviews of his critical writ- 
ings. After all, the critic is also an au- 

The second complaint of writers, that 
criticism is largely young and incompe- 
tent, or merely incompetent, is well 
founded. The reason lies in the general 
preference of publishers for criticism that 

is laudatory even if absurd. Again we 
meet the Silent Bargain. The commer- 
cial publisher of book-reviews, realizing 
that any fool can praise a book, is apt 
to increase his profits by lowering the 
wage of his critic. At its extreme point, 
his thrift requires a reviewer of small 
brains and less moral courage: such a 
man costs less and is unlikely ever to 
speak with offensive frankness. Thus it 
happens that, commonly in the news- 
papers and frequently in periodicals of 
some literary pretension, the writers of 
reviews are shiftless literary hacks, shal- 
low, sentimental women, or crude young 
persons full of indiscriminate enthusiasm 
for all printed matter. 

I spoke of the magazines. When their 
editors say that literary papers are not 
popular, do they consider what writers 
they admit to the work, with what pay- 
ment they tempt the really competent, 
what limitations they impose upon sin- 
cerity ? Do they not really mean that the 
amiable in manner or the remote in sub- 
ject, which alone they consider expedient, 
is not popular? Do they really believe 
that a brilliant writer, neither a dilettante 
nor a Germanized scholar, uttering with 
fire and conviction his full belief, would 
not interest the public? Do they doubt 
that such a writer could be found, if 
sought? The reviews which they do 
print are not popular; but that proves 
nothing in respect of better reviews. 
Whatever the apparent limitations of 
criticism, it actually takes the universe 
for its province. In subject it is as pro- 
tean as life itself; in manner, it may be 
what you will. To say, then, that neither 
American writers nor American readers 
can be found for it is to accuse the nation 
of a poverty of intellect so great as to 
be incredible. No; commercial timidity, 
aiming always to produce a magazine so 
inoffensive as to insinuate itself into uni- 
versal tolerance, is the fundamental cause 
of the unpopularity of the average critical 
article; how can the public fail to be in- 
different to what lacks life, appositeness 
to daily needs, conviction, intellectual 

Honest Literary Criticism 


and moral candor? At least one reason 
why we have no Brunetiere is that there 
is almost no periodical in which such a 
man may write. 

In the actual, not the possible, writers 
of our criticism there is, in the lower 
ranks, a lack of skill, of seriousness, of 
reasonable competence, and a cynical 
acceptance of the dishonest role they are 
expected to play; in the higher ranks, 
there is a lack of any vital message, a 
desire rather to win, without offending 
the publisher, the approval of the ultra- 
literary and the scholarly, than really to 
reach and teach the public. It is this 
degradation, this lack of earnestness, and 
not lack of inherent interest in the general 
topic, which makes our critical work un- 
popular, and deprives the whole literary 
industry of that quickening and increase 
of public interest from which alone can 
spring a vigorous and healthy growth. 
This feebleness will begin to vanish the 
moment that the publishers of books, 
who support criticism, say peremptorily 
that reviews that interest, not reviews 
that puff, are what they want. When 
they say this, that is the kind of reviews 
they will get. If that criticism indeed 
prove interesting, it will then be printed 
up to the value of the buying power of 
the public, and it will be supported 
where it should be not by the pub- 
lisher but by the people. It is said in 
excuse that, as a city has the government, 
so the public has the criticism, which 
it deserves. That is debatable; bu, 
even so, to whose interest is it that the 
taste of the public should be improved ? 
Honest criticism addressed to the public, 
by writers who study how to interest it 
rather than how to flatter the producers 
of books, would educate. The education 
of readers, always the soundest invest- 
ment of the publisher, can never be given 
by servile reviewers feebly echoing his 
own interested advertisements. They are 
of no value either to the public, the 
publisher, or the author. 

The publisher of a newspaper of which 
reviews are an incident need not, how- 

ever, wait for the signal. If, acting on 
the assumption that his duty is not to the 
publisher but to the public, he will sum- 
mon competent and earnest reviewers to 
speak the truth as they see it, he will 
infallibly increase the vivacity and inter- 
est of his articles and the pleasure and 
confidence of his readers. He will not 
have any permanent loss of advertising. 
Whenever he establishes his periodical 
as one read by lovers of literature, he has 
the publishers at his mercy. But suppose 
that his advertising decreases ? Let him 
not make the common mistake of meas- 
uring the value of a department by the 
amount of related advertising that it 
attracts. The general excellence of his 
paper as an advertising medium sup- 
posing he has no aim beyond profit 
is what he should seek. The public 
which reads and enjoys books is worth 
attracting, even if the publisher does not 
follow, for it buys other things than 

If, however, his newspaper is not one 
that can please people of literary tastes, 
he will get book-advertising only in neg- 
ligible quantities no matter how much 
he may praise the volumes sent him. Of 
what use are puffs which fall not under 
the right eyes? 

If, again, his periodical seems an ex- 
ception to this reasoning, and his puffery 
appears to bring him profit, let him con- 
sider the parts of it unrelated to litera- 
ture: he will find there matter which 
pleases readers of intelligence, and he 
may be sure that this, quite as much as 
his praise, is what brings the publishers' 
advertisements; he may be sure that, 
should he substitute sincere criticism, the 
advertisements would increase. 

The third complaint of the author 
from whom I have* wandered is that 
critics do not agree. To argue that when- 
ever two critics hold different opinions, 
the criticism of one of them must be 
valueless, is absurd. The immediate 
question is, valueless to whom to the 
public or to the author ? 

If the author is meant, the argument 


Honest Literary Criticism 

assumes that criticism is written for the 
instruction of the author, which is not 
true. Grammar and facts a critic can 
indeed correct; but he never expects to 
change an author's style or make his 
talent other than it is. Though he may 
lash the man, he does not hope to reform 
him. However slightly acquainted with 
psychology, the critic knows that a ma- 
ture 'writer does not change and cannot 
change: his character is made, his gifts, 
such as they are, are what they are. On 
the contrary, the critic writes to influence 
the public, to inform the old, to train 
the young. He knows that his chief 
chance is with plastic youth; he hopes 
to form the future writer, still more he 
hopes to form the future reader. He 
knows that the effect of good reviewing 
stops not with the books reviewed, but 
influences the reader's choice among 
thousands of volumes as yet undreamed 
of by any publisher. 

If, on the other hand, the public is 
meant, the argument assumes that one 
man's meat is not another man's poison. 
The bird prefers seed, and the dog a 
bone, and there is no standard animal 
food. Nor, likewise, is there any stand- 
ard intellectual food: both critics, how- 
ever they disagree, may be right. 

No author, no publisher, should think 
that variety invalidates criticism. If there 
is any certainty about critics, it is that 
they will not think alike. The sum of x 
(a certain book) plus y (a certain critic) 
can never be the same as x (the same 
book) plus z (a different critic). A given 
book cannot affect a man of a particular 
ability, temperament, training, as it 
affects one of a different ability, tempera- 
ment, and training. A book is never 
complete without a reader, and the value 
of the combination is all that can be 
found out. For the value of a book is 
varying: it varies with the period, with 
the nationality, with the character of the 
reader. Shakespeare had one value for 
the Elizabethans, he has a different value 
for us, and still another for the French- 
man ; he has a special value for the play- 

goer, and a special value for the student 
in his closet. In respect of literary art, 
pragmatism is right: there is no truth, 
there are truths. About all vital writing 
there is a new truth born with each new 
reader. Therein lies the unending fasci- 
nation of books, the temptation to infi- 
nite discussion. To awaken an immortal 
curiosity is the glory of genius. 

From all this it follows that critics are 
representative: each one stands for a 
group of people whose spokesman he has 
become because he has, on the whole, 
their training, birth from their class, the 
prejudices of their community and of 
their special group in that community, 
and therefore expresses their ideals. 
Once let publisher and author grasp this 
idea, and criticism, however divergent, 
will come to have a vital meaning for 
them. The publisher can learn from the 
judgment of the critic what the judgment 
of his group in the community is likely 
to be, and from a succession of such 
judgments through a term of years, he 
can gain valuable information as to the 
needs, the tastes, the ideals of the public 
or of the group of publics which he may 
wish to serve. Accurate information 
straight from writers serving the public 
that, I cannot too often repeat, is 
worth more to him than any amount of 
obsequious praise. That precisely is 
what he cannot get until all critics are 
what they should be lawyers whose 
only clients are their own convictions. 

'The author also gains. Although he 
is always liable to the disappointment 
of finding that his book has failed to ac- 
complish his aim, he nevertheless can 
draw the sting from much adverse criti- 
cism if he will regard not its face value, 
but its representative value. He is writ- 
ing for a certain audience; the criticism 
of that audience only, then, need count. 
If he has his own public with him, he is 
as safe as a man on an island viewing a 
storm at sea, no matter how critics repre- 
senting other publics may rage. Not all 
the adverse comment in this country upon 
E. P. Roe, in England on Ouida, in 

Honest Literary Criticism 


France on Georges Ohnet ever cost them 
a single reader. Their audience heard it 
not; it did not count. There is, of course, 
a difference of value in publics, and if 
these writers had a tragedy, it lay in their 
not winning the audience of their choice. 
But this does not disturb the statement 
as to the vanity of adverse criticism for 
an author who hears objurgations from 
people whom he did not seek to please. 
Sometimes, indeed, such objurgations 
flatter. If, for example, the author has 
written a novel which is in effect an 
attempt to batter down ancient preju- 
dice, nothing should please him more 
than to hear the angry protests of the 
conservative they may be the shrieks 
of the dying, as was the case, for instance, 
when Dr. Holmes wrote the Autocrat ; 
they show, at any rate, that the book has 

Now, each in its degree, every work 
of art is controversial and cannot help 
being so until men are turned out, like 
lead soldiers, from a common mould. 
Every novel, for example, even when not 
written "with a purpose," has many 
theories behind it a theory as to its 
proper construction, a theory as to its 
proper content, a theory of life. Every 
one is a legitimate object of attack, and 
in public or private 'is certain to be at- 
tacked. Does the author prefer to be 
fought in the open or stabbed in the 
dark ? that is really his only choice. 
The author of a novel, a poem, an essay, 
or a play should think of it as a new idea, 
or a new embodiment of an idea, which 
is bound to hurtle against others dear to 
their possessors. He should remember 
that a book that arouses no discussion is 
a poor, dead thing. Let him cultivate the 
power of analysis, and seek from his crit- 
ics, not praise, but knowledge of what, 
precisely, he has done. If he has sought 
to please, he can learn what social groups 
he has charmed, what groups he has 
failed to interest, and why, and may make 
a new effort with a better chance of suc- 
cess. If he has sought to prevail, he can 
learn whether his blows have told, and, 

what is more important, upon whom. In 
either case, to know the nature of his 
general task, he must learn three things : 
whom his book has affected, how much 
it has affected them, and in what way it 
has affected them. Only through honest, 
widespread, really representative criti- 
cism, can the author know these things. 

Whatever their individual hurts, the 
publisher of books, the publisher of book- 
reviews, and the author should recognize 
that the entire sincerity of criticism, 
which is the condition of its value to the 
public, is also the condition of its value 
to them. It is a friend whose wounds are 
faithful. The lesson that they must learn 
is this: an honest man giving an honest 
opinion is a respectable person, and if he 
has any literary gift at all, a forcible 
writer. What he says is read, and what 
is more it is trusted. If he has cultivation 
enough to maintain himself as a critic, 
as many of those now writing have not, 
once servility ceases to be a merit, he 
acquires a following upon whom his in- 
fluence is deep and real, and upon whom, 
in the measure of his capacity, he exerts 
an educational force. If to honesty he 
adds real scholarship, sound taste, and 
vivacity as a writer, he becomes a leading 
critic, and his influence for good is pro- 
portionally enlarged. If there were hon- 
est critics with ability enough to satisfy 
the particular readers they served on 
every periodical now printing literary 
criticism, public interest in reviews, and 
consequently in books, would greatly in- 
crease. And public interest and confi- 
dence once won, the standing and with it 
the profit of the four groups commer- 
cially interested in literature would in- 
fallibly rise. This is the condition which 
all four should work to create. 

Would it arrive if the publisher of 
books should repudiate the Silent Bar- 
gain? If he should send with the book 
for review, not the usual ready-made 
puff but a card requesting only the favor 
of a sincere opinion; if, furthermore, he 
showed his good faith by placing his 
advertisements where the quality of the 


Honest Literary Criticism 

reviewing was best, would the critical 
millennium come ? It would not. I have 
made the convenient assumption that 
the critic needs only permission to be 
sincere. Inevitable victim of the Silent 
Bargain he may be, but he is human and 
will not be good simply because he has 
the chance. But he would be better than 
he is if for no other reason than be- 
cause many of his temptations would be 
removed. The new conditions would at 
once and automatically change the direc- . 
tion of his personal interests. He and his 
publisher would need to interest the pub- 
lic. Public service would be the condi- 
tion of his continuing critic at all. He 
would become the agent, not of the pub- 
lisher to the public, but of the public to 
the publisher. And although then, as 
now in criticism of political affairs, in- 
sincere men would sacrifice their stand- 
ards to their popularity, they would still 
reflect public opinion. To know what 
really is popular opinion is the first step 
toward making it better. Accurately to 
know it is of the first commercial im- 
portance for publisher and author, of the 
first public importance for the effective 
leaders of public opinion. 

This new goal of criticism the desire 
to attract the public would have other 
advantages. It would diminish the 
amount of criticism. One of the worst 
effects of the Silent Bargain is the obli- 
gation of the reviewer to notice every 
book that is sent him not because it 
interests him, not because it will interest 
his public, but to satisfy the publisher. 
Thus it happens that many a newspaper 
spreads before its readers scores upon 
scores of perfunctory reviews in which 
are hopelessly concealed those few writ- 
ten with pleasure, those few which would 
be welcome to its public. Tired by the 
mere sight, readers turn hopelessly away. 
Now, many books lack interest for any 
one; of those that remain, many lack 
interest for readers of a particular publi- 
cation. Suppose a reviewer, preoccupied, 
not with the publisher, but with his own 
public, confronted by the annual mass 

of books: ask yourself what he would 
naturally do. He would notice, would he 
not, those books only in which he thought 
that he could interest his readers? He 
would warn his public against books 
which would disappoint them, he would 
take pleasure in praising books which 
would please them. The glow of per- 
sonal interest would be in what he wrote, 
and partly for this reason, partly because 
the reviews would be few, his public 
would read them. Herein, again, the 
publisher would gain: conspicuous no- 
tices of the right books would go to the 
right people. An automatic sifting and 
sorting of his publications, like that done 
by the machines which grade fruit, send- 
ing each size into its appropriate pocket, 
would take place. 

But the greatest gain to criticism re- 
mains to be pointed out. The critics who 
have chosen silence, rather than sub- 
mission to the Silent Bargain, would 
have a chance to write. They are the 
best critics, and when they resume the 
pen, the whole industry of writing will 

But the critic, though liberated, has 
many hard questions to decide, many 
subtle temptations to resist. There is 
the question of his motives, which I said 
are of no consequence to the author or 
to the public so long as what he speaks 
is truth ; but which, I must now add, are 
of great consequence to him. If he feels 
envy and malice, he must not cherish 
them as passions to be gratified, but use 
them, if at all, as dangerous tools. He 
must be sure that his ruling passion is 
love of good work a love strong enough 
to make him proclaim it, though done 
by his worst enemy. There is the ques- 
tion again of his own limitations: he 
must be on his guard lest they lead him 
into injustice, and yet never so timid that 
he fails to say what he thinks, for fear it 
may be wrong. 

I speak of these things from the point 
of view of the critic's duty to himself; 
but they are a part also of his duty to- 

Honest Literary Criticism 


wards his neighbor, the author. What 
that duty may precisely be, is his most 
difficult problem. A few things only are 
plain. He ought to say as much against 
a friend as against an enemy, as much 
against a publisher whom he knows as 
against a publisher of England or France. 
He must dare to give pain. He must 
make his own the ideals of Sarcey. " I 
love the theatre," he wrote to Zola, 
" with so absolute a devotion that I sac- 
rifice everything, even my particular 
friends, even, what is much more diffi- 
cult, my particular enemies, to the pleas- 
ure of pushing the public towards the 
play which I consider good, and of keep- 
ing it away from the play which I con- 
sider bad." 

That perhaps was comparatively easy 
for Sarcey with his clear ideal of the well- 
made piece; it is perhaps easy in the 
simple, straightforward appraisal of the 
ordinary book; but the critic may be 
excused if he feels compunctions and 
timidities when the task grows more 
complex, when, arming himself more and 
more with the weapons of psychology, 
he seeks his explanations of a given 
work where undoubtedly they lie, in the 
circumstances, the passions, the brains, 
the very disorders of the author. How 
far in this path may he go ? Unquestion- 
ably, he may go far, very far with the not 
too recent dead ; but with the living how 
far may he go, how daring may he make 
his guess ? For guess it will be, since his 
knowledge, if not his competence, will be 
incomplete until memoirs, letters, diaries, 
reminiscences bring him their enlighten- 
ment. One thinks first what the author 
may suffer when violent hands are laid 
upon his soul, and one recoils; but what 
of the public ? Must the public, then, not 
know its contemporaries just as far as it 
can these contemporaries whose strong 
influence for good or evil it is bound to 
undergo ? These have full license to play 
upon the public; shall not the public, in 
its turn, be free to scrutinize to any, the 
most intimate extent, the human stuff 
from which emanates the strong influence 

which it feels ? If the public good justi- 
fies dissection, does it not also justify vivi- 
section ? Is literature an amusement 
only, or is it a living force which on pub- 
lic grounds the critic has every right in 
all ways to measure? Doubtless his 
right in the particular case may be tested 
by the importance of the answer to the 
people, yet the grave delicacy of this test 

which the critic must apply himself 

is equaled only by the ticklishness of 
the task. Yet there lies the path of truth, 
serviceable, ever honorable truth. 

The critic is, in fact, confronted by two 
standards. Now and again he must 
make the choice between admirable con- 
duct and admirable criticism. They are 
not the same. It is obvious that what is 
outrageous conduct may be admirable 
criticism, that what is admirable con- 
duct may be inferior, shuffling criticism. 
Which should he choose? If we make 
duty to the public the test, logic seems to 
require that he should abate no jot of his 
critical message. It certainly seems hard 
that he should be held to a double (and 
contradictory) standard when others set 
in face of a like dilemma are held ex- 
cused. The priest is upheld in not re- 
vealing the secrets of the confessional, 
the lawyer for not betraying the secret 
guilt of his client, although as a citizen 
each should prefer the public to the 
individual; whereas the critic who, re- 
versing the case, sacrifices the individ- 
ual to the public, is condemned. The 
public should recognize, I think, his 
right to a special code like that ac- 
corded the priest, the lawyer, the soldier, 
the physician. He should be relieved of 
certain social penalties, fear of which 
may cramp his freedom and so lessen 
his value. Who cannot easily see that a 
critic may write from the highest sense 
of duty words which would make him 
the "no gentleman" that Cousin said 
Sainte-Beuve was? 

But the whole question is thorny; 
that writer will do an excellent service 
to letters who shall speak an authorita- 
tive word upon the ethics of criticism. 


The Romance of Motoring 

At present, there is nothing except 
the law of libel. The question is raised 
here merely to the end of asking these 
further questions : would not the greatest 
freedom help rather than hurt the cause 
of literature ? Is not the double standard 
too dangerous a weapon to be allowed 
to remain in the hands of the upholders 
of the Silent Bargain ? 

Meanwhile until the problem is 
solved the critic must be an explorer 
of untraveled ethical paths. Let him be 
bold whether he is a critic of the deeds 
of the man of action, or of those subtler 
but no less real deeds, the words of an 

author ! For, the necessary qualifications 
made, all that has been said of literary 
criticism applies to all criticism every- 
where there is a Silent Bargain to be 
fought, everywhere honest opinion has 
powerful foes. 

The thing to do for each author of 
words or of deeds, each critic of one or 
the other is to bring his Dwn peb- 
ble of conviction however rough and 
sharp-cornered and throw it into that 
stream of discussion which will roll and 
grind it against others, and finally make 
of it and of them that powder of soil in 
which, let us hope, future men will raise 
the crop called truth. 



"THEY go by the breath of Allah ! they 
go by the breath of Allah!" This excla- 
mation of kneeling Arabs reveals an awe 
in the presence of motor-cars which we, 
of a more sophisticated race, hardly feel. 
The force which drives a six-cylinder 
machine is, for us, no spiritual thing. If 
we ride this sleek, this purring steel tiger, 
its power reminds us how low the gaso- 
lene is ebbing in our tank, or what trib- 
ute, in the guise of pay for that volatile 
fluid, we have poured so reluctantly into 
the golden flood from which magnates, 
in their moments of innocence, irrigate 
the bad lands of American education. 
But if, on the other hand, we shrink by 
the wayside while the monster of speed 
storms past, its power suggests to our 
shuddering minds neither the spirit of 
greed, nor Allah's immortal breath. For 
us "what makes it go" is a breath, to be 
sure, but a breath from the Pit. 

When the doctrine of speed for speed's 
sake was orthodox, this Satanic impres- 

sion came hourly to the wayfarer. Now 
that it has lapsed into heresy, the impres- 
sion is so rare that spectators in search of 
it troop by thousands to the race-track. 
There the flash of dragon's-eye lamps at 
dawn, the machine-gun fusillade of ex- 
plosions, the smoke, the fire, the whirl- 
wind speed, these things make racing 
cars actually such fierce demons as their 
cousins of the road once appeared. Only, 
however, to hysterics, human and equine, 
can the road machines of to-day seem 
diabolic. For the rest of us, the lounging- 
rooms on wheels which carry those prin- 
cesses of democracy, our eighteen-year- 
old daughters of Success, on their shop- 
ping bouts and their calling "bats;" the 
motor-carts, if we may call them so, 
which convey their furbelows and flowers 
to the paternal mansion; these, and the 
runabouts in which bribe-givers hurry to 
court, and the touring-cars in which 
bribe-takers parade back and forth from 
jail, these are so usual, so tame, so tradi- 
tional, that they induce in us the state of 
mind of the fur-clad, auto-riding four- 

The Romance of Motoring 


year-old who remarked, one winter day : 

"Did n't Adam 'n Eve feel cold 

If some brisk little runabout, as this 
youngster supposed, had whisked our 
first parents naked through the Garden 
of Eden, or if huge sight-seeing "autos " 
had chug-chugged into Canterbury on 
Geoffrey Chaucer's Pilgrimage, motor- 
cars would seem to us as legendary as 
the armored chargers that clang across 
the background of Lord Tennyson's po- 
etry. But Time has had no leisure to 
wrap motor-cars in mystery; and Poetry 
abashed has turned away her head. Un- 
veiled, except in dust, they shoot the 
rapids of our streets; unsung, unless in 
coon-songs, they purr across hill and 
meadow. Song will follow them. The 
Egyptian woman hides her face behind 
fold on fold of black; behind shining 
crimson and brass the tiger of modern 
speed hides, not its face, but a spirit of 
romantic fact. 

If Poetry has not seen it, the unwary 
motorist is to blame. Speed-possessed, 
he hurls his " auto," stonelike, at the 
twin birds, space and time; and when its 
flight is once over, they lie dead before 
his spirit. To the wise motorist, space 
and time, as they fly, sing songs which 
thrill and echo in the mind. Up, then, 
and mount with the wisest of your ac- 
quaintance; up and be off with him where 
the heavens' light, broken into the colors 
of tree, flower, and grass, accompanies 
the song. Then, as miles and moments 
slip behind you, all the past will seem 
like a dim and soundless cave, and your 
former self will stand before you strange 
as a skin-clad cave-dweller. So at least 
it will seem to your gladdened senses; 
nor will those enthusiasts be seriously 
deceived. For in motoring, one's self 
is indeed transformed, and the world 
tinged, for the awakened mind, with a 
tone lively, fresh, and actual. 

This tone is not, as skeptics may im- 
agine, a mere product of singing swift- 
ness. There are moments when a follow- 
ing breeze stills the wind of your motor's 

making, moments of halting on some 
bridge, with the incessant machinery ar- 
rested, when the tinkle and gurgle of a 
brook below melt into the thrushes' song 
among cool and scented balsams; there 
are moments such as these when stillness 
beneath dim branches is tinged with a 
tone as keen as the dazzle and swiftness 
of day. For wherever the wise motorist 
speeds or halts, there is the romance of 


A wise motorist is not merely exempt 
from speed-mania; he knows the time, 
the place, the way ; he has the skill to 
make each inspired choice whereon poetic 
motoring depends. He knows when to 
brave wind and sun, when to seek shelter- 
ing hillsides or tunnels of green. Leaving 
the allurements of a road that would soon 
toss like the English Channel, he comes, 
on grassgrown lanes, to the ease of green- 
winged locusts; waysides of jagged taw- 
driness he lets pass in one flare of color ; 
and quenching a burst of speed, he makes 
beauty linger in long cadences of stream 
and willow. 

All this, however, he can do perfectly, 
not for you, but for himself only. For in 
motoring, as in love, one man's poem is 
another's prose, one man's cleansing joy 
another's pool of infamy. Only with 
spirits whose nature he shares can the 
motor-sage share his romance. If then 
romantic motoring depends, for you, on 
the blindness of speed, a chauffeur's 
bought wisdom must suffice you. If your 
thirst is for shy lights on ocean or hillside, 
friendship with some motoring painter 
may slake it. But if all reality waits for 
you like a goddess scarcely veiled, if it 
lurks in the street as in the desert, in 
the throbbing of machinery as in silence, 
in the sky as in the openness of a wo- 
man's most intimate smile, then, for 
you, chauffeurs will be an abomination, 
acquaintances inept, and even a close 
friend welcome only as he loosens your 
too firm grasp on the steering wheel, 
guides your fingers to the levers con- 


The Romance of Motoring 

trolling throttle and electric spark, 
" cranks " your engine, and with a word 
or two of technical reminder, takes the 
seat beside you on your first long run. 

No matter what zest may have dazzled 
you as the motoring-guest of youths or 
gallant maidens, it is outshone as you feel 
your machine leap, fraught with power 
by the crook of one forefinger, or steeled 
to nervous energy by the other's bending. 
To drive the sun's horses would seem, 
by comparison, dull. But though you 
escape a Phaeton's catastrophe, your 
triumph must be quelled. Of a sudden 
your car shoots willfully to the left; too 
obediently following your corrective con- 
vulsion, it swerves to the right hand 
gutter, then slews across the road, and 
keeping forward incorrigibly, forges up a 
bank, grazes an apple tree, and by a way- 
ward miracle stops just short of a wall. 

An instant's exultation smothered in 
shame, this and no romance have you 
tasted; for as yet you are no sage. On 
the contrary, a self-confessed motor-fool, 
to the core of all your bones, you descend, 
weak-kneed and with dewy brow, from 
your car to the grass, and under your 
mentor's indulgent eye, seize the crank 
handle. With a slow twist and a pull like 
his, you seek to revive the engine. A jerk, 
a blow, and the handle is wrenched away, 
leaving you a spectator, first of your own 
bruised and bleeding fingers, then of your 
mentor's skill as he readjusts a lever 
which, to your cost, you have neglected. 

Then you mount and turn; then with 
brakes hard on, creep down the bank to a 
highway all peace and ease. For your 
muscles no longer meet each pull of 
the steering-wheel with panicky counter- 
tugs. They have learned their first lesson 
in proportionate readjustment, a lesson 
reflected in the machine's abstinence 
from independent sallies, till a baby- 
carriage on the uttermost horizon stirs 
it to caricature your unselfish anxiety in 
a series of snaky twinings. But though 
your muscles have been disciplined into 
a semblance of wisdom, you yourself 
must still grasp, and impart to those hab- 

its at work in the twilight of conscious- 
ness, many a fact and many a mystery : 
facts like those of the carburetor, to be 
learned only with the reek of gasolene in 
your nostrils ; mysteries, like those of the 
electric spark, to be penetrated only by a 
flash of the imagination. For herein lies 
the sanity of your novitiate, that it is a 
double growth, a growth of faculties both 
plodding and picturesque. As a novice 
you must ascertain by exact experiment 
the mixture of fuel and air that will ex- 
plode the most powerfully in your engine- 
cylinders. Yet as a novice, too, you must 
so master the mysteries of the accelerating 
spark that, like Maeterlinck, you can say, 
on swifter and swifter flights, " I feel as 
if thousands of unseen wings, the trans- 
parent wings of ghostly great birds . . . 
had come to strike with their vast cool- 
ness my temples and my eyes." 


When once stirred, even silently, to 
such lyrical thought as this, you grow 
irrepressible. Impatient to face alone the 
hazards of the road, you submit with an 
ill grace to the final task of your novi- 
tiate; unwillingly you remove, replace, 
and readjust every nut and cog of your 
machine. But then, rising from bent 
knees, you find yourself free to go whither 
you will. 

Some fifty miles away, a house more 
inviting than others stands open to wel- 
come you, and, motor-fledgeling though 
you are, you fare forth to attain it. Much 
more than a fledgeling you feel yourself 
as the city of your work begins to slip 
behind, dwindling, vanishing under its 
canopy of smoke; for every nerve and 
muscle of your body, every thought of 
your mind, tunes itself to the machine's 
efficiency. Nor can you recognize your 
resulting thrill as a mere echo of perfect 
mechanism. So obedient is the speeding 
car that the high and exquisite key of its 
activity seems, on the contrary, an echo of 
your mastery. Buoyantly, then, you push 
forward. A village appears, keen-spired 

The Romance of Motoring 


among trees ; it sweeps near, sweeps past 
on either hand; and the road before 
you flows like a spring freshet down the 
slope that you surmount. As you spy 
ahead, familiar hills, arching their backs 
on a horizon, stir you with prophecies. 
Your spin imaginatively complete, you 
regret it while still faring on past field 
and farm, and past motorist after motor- 
ist, repairing punctured tires by the way- 

As for you, your tires are intact, and 
your cylinders hum like a swarm of bees. 
Complacency swells within you, as large, 
as iridescent, and, alas, as thin as a child's 
sunny soap-bubble; all this till, like the 
complacency of one other novice, it is 
touched by the finger of fact. 

The fledgeling whom I have in mind 
turned one day into a lane whose smooth 
length, after a turn or two, appeared 
buried in sods, stones, and clods scraped 
from its sides by a village " rud-agent's " 
road-machine. More annoyed than hin- 
dered, my fledgeling hastened on, bump- 
ing and swinging around a blind corner 
to where that plough-like monstrosity 
straddled a rise in the lane. In the nick 
of time he swerved aside, but with one 
rear wheel in the gutter, came helplessly 
to a standstill. In vain he opened his 
throttle to its widest; that wheel, deep 
in slime, revolved to no purpose till the 
" rud-agent " came down from his over- 
grown plough, and threw a spadeful of 
gravel where the whizzing wheel bit into 
it, and with quieter turnings, carried the 
machine to terra firma. 

Thirty horse-power and the best of 
machines had proved less efficient than 
a spadeful of gravel. "Why the devil," 
asked the fledgeling, correspondingly 
chagrined, " why the devil do you plough 
your road into a potato-field ? " 

With a shrewd dim glance came the 
answer, " Yer don't like the looks of it ? 
Wai, I guess yer would n't like the looks 
of my boy's back, either, when I ' ve licked 
him like lie needs." 

"Spare the plough and spoil the rud;" 
some such paraphrase of the old, vile 
VOL. 102 -NO. 2 

adage was so fixed in the " rud-agent's " 
brain, that even my fledgeling was mute; 
and with speech, his complacency left 
him. May yours escape such rude ex- 
tinction! Yet fact must extinguish it; 
and most probably it does so when you 
pass, with the most triumphant sense of 
contrast, some car lying derelict beside 
the road. Then with a gun-shot report 
and a tug at your steering-wheel, Cata- 
strophe is upon you. That tug instinct- 
ively mastered, you stop, dismount, and 
face this fact: that your "gun-shot" was 
the report of an exploding tire, a tire 
which you find, like a cast-off snake- 
skin, limply surrounding one of your 
wheels. Because some wayward urchin 
has scattered glass in the highway, you 
must now, not only labor while your 
engines sybaritically rest, but must pay, 
pay, pay ! Forewarned, let us hope, you 
have paid before starting, and therefore 
carry a new tire at the back of your car. 
If so, you unstrap it, lay it by your wheel ; 
then prod, pry, and pull at the old tire- 
casing, pull, pry, and prod again at the 
new; insert its intestinal tubing; and 
pump, pump, pump in the hot sunlight 
till the firm, replete, and distended tire 
encircles your wheel like some Gargan- 
tuan sausage. 

Then, mopping at your forehead, you 
climb aboard, and settle in your seat, 
growling at the injustice which has made 
you suffer in labor and temper for the 
venom or folly which scattered that de- 
structive glass. With a jerk, you "throw 
in " the " clutch " which connects your 
engine with the wheels of the car. To 
your amazement it does not move. Are 
the brakes on ? No. What then ? As you 
sit puzzling, you grow at last aware of 
a great stillness around you, a stillness 
stirred only by the breeze seething in a 
wheatfield across the wall. Then sud- 
denly, with a peal of laughter, you un- 
derstand. Smothered in your own mood, 
you have forgotten a sine qua non ; you 
have forgotten to start your engine ! 

Out you jump; forward you scamper; 
seize the crank handle, and turn it with a 


The Romance of Motoring 

jerk that rouses your engine from its rest. 
Then back to your seat; and off you go, 
down the diagonal turn of a white state- 
road, where you can drink to the dregs 
those delights of speed : the delight of air 
sweeping past with a sound of great wa- 
ters, and the delight of the foam-like road 
itself, as it rushes to vanish beneath you. 
Now your car, like a yacht skimming a 
breaker, skims over a rolling rise; and 
while the azure horizon levels dissolve 
into a seeming ocean, you climb in a 
lapse of leisure to where the white chalk- 
line of the road is seen sweeping first 
toward a bowl-shaped hollow, then over 
a knoll into woods. 

Foreseeing a test of skill, you put on 
speed, and as you gain momentum, 
" throw out " the clutch. So while your 
fingers on spark- and throttle-levers make 
the engine's throbbing almost cease, your 
car is free to speed yet more swiftly, in 
the grip of the still earth's power, down, 
down, till the hollow rising toward you is 
not a hundred yards ahead. Still, in the 
miracle of its hushed acceleration, the car 
speeds on. The hollow, now, is beside 
you; now it is behind you. Will this rush 
of momentum carry you over the knoll ? 
Not, you judge, unless the engine is 
roused to aid it. So your finger moves; 
and the machinery's throbbing grows 
swift and swifter, pulsing and more puls- 
ing, till your ear believes it in harmony 
with the car's whirring wheels. Then 
you "throw in" the clutch, reconnecting 
engine and car. It hesitates, and only as 
you open the throttle, does the pitch of 
the engine's pulse rise in tune with your 
former speed. 

The test has failed; the car's mo- 
mentary hesitation has proved your in- 
stinct wrong. But again, as you rush 
down a long incline, you " throw out " 
the clutch, and soothing the engine al- 
most to sleep, give yourself up to the 
power of the earth. Your eye on a train 
across the valley, you contrast the pas- 
sengers' cooped-up suffocation with your 
own draining of the wind's illimitable 
cup. The tail of your eye still on the 

laggard train, you grow aware of a hol- 
low rising to meet you; and again, as 
you cross it, you listen while the crook of 
your forefinger converts the engine's soft, 
slow throbbing into an evenly swift and 
swifter beat. Suddenly you feel it at- 
tuned to the speed of your car, and 
" throwing in " the clutch, you find your 
instinct verified. Smoothly cog slips into 
cog, and, with no instant's hesitation, all 
the engine's power joins the momentum 
of the car to carry it up the incline 
ahead, and along its spine-like ridge. 

The woodland hill of your destination, 
its slope dignified by a house all grace and 
ancient welcome, flashes green and clear 
on your begoggled eyes. After good for- 
tune and ill, after patience, zest, and la- 
bor, your run is almost over. Four miles 
more, eight minutes to make them in, 
and you may pride yourself on a success 
briskly earned. " Speed, speed, on this 
snow-like road, speed," you whisper, 
" speed ! " and letting the cylinders in- 
hale their explosive vapor through a 
throttle wide open, you make the unseen 
spark gleam within them earlier and ever 
earlier, till their purring turns to a note 
almost musical. " Speed, speed ! " you 
whisper ; and your sleek steel tiger gath- 
ers force in a rush of wind that sings to 
you, as it sang to Henley : 


Speed, and the range of God's skies, 

Distances, changes, surprises ; 

Speed, and the hug of God's winds 

And the play of God's airs, 

Beautiful, whimsical, wonderful ; 

Clean, fierce, and clean, 

With a throst in the throat 

And a rush at the nostrils ; 

Keen, with a far-away 

Taste of inhuman, 

Unviolable vastitudes, 

Where the Stars of the Morning 

Go singing together 

For joy in the naked, 

Dazzling, unvisited 

Emperies of Space ! 

And the heart in your breast 

Sings, as the World 

Slips past like a dream 

Of Speed 

Speed on the knees of the Lord. 

The Romance of Motoring 



Breaking into this glory of sane ex- 
hilaration, a blackness against the road 
ahead appears and defines itself as a 
buggy, whose driver raises one hand in 
appeal to you, while, with the other, he 
tries to control his horse. The horse 
waves and flaps himself like a pennant 
in the air, till you stop and silence your 
machine. Then, all docility, he passes; 
and you, recording an inward protest 
against the presence of mere animals 
on a road, prepare to pursue your way. 
The engine purring, you " throw in " the 
clutch. A rasping sound startles you ; the 
machine stands motionless ; and test your 
clutch as you may, the wheels of the car 
remain helplessly disconnected from the 

The seriousness of your plight you will 
learn all too soon. Sufficient to the in- 
stant is the woe thereof, your woeful 
inability, with a smoothly running, thirty- 
horse-power engine, to make that car 
budge. In vain you experiment ; in vain 
you protestingly wrestle with all the imps 
of motoring. Even to get the machine 
to shelter you must have help, help that 
you receive at last from a ploughman 
and two oxen lured from a neighboring 

The great dull brutes once yoked to 
your car, you who have sped so swiftly 
experience a strange thing. Seated plac- 
idly, steering lazily, you grow aware of 
a silence broken only by the slow foot- 
steps of animals and man, the whisper 
of leaves, the scampering of squirrels 
along a branch above your head. And 
as your progress continues, slow and 
measured, toward the goal of your small 
journey, you sigh with delight in spread- 
ing elms, in honeysuckles, in wild violets, 
purple, white, and yellow. Of all this, 
you abruptly realize, speed would have 
bereft you. Then why such speed ? Is it 
because you are no better than that 
first of dramatic motoring types, Bernard 
Shaw's Straker, who drove a touring-car 
at sixty miles an hour simply " to get her 

money's worth out of her " ? And while 
you digest as best you may this acid 
query, your ears suddenly ring with the 
laughter of a girl possessed by the 
Comic Spirit. 

A man in a brown study steering a ma- 
chine which two ponderous oxen drag 
after them, this man is so laughable 
that, unless utterly morose, he shares the 
spectator's hilarity. Only in later soli- 
tude is he gnawed by questionings. But 
when repair-bills, reptilian in length, be- 
gin to uncoil themselves before him, he 
must be free-spirited indeed to escape 
the doubt whether this motor-fool can 
be made into a sage. The doubt, more- 
over, is real : only experience can solve 
it. But the doubter's mood, meantime, 
grows less harassed, less personal, so 
that whatever his immediate plight, vi- 
carious pleasures attend him. He delights 
in the old earth's vitality, doubled and 
redoubled in men's motoring; shares in 
imagination their breasting of snow-suf- 
fused wintry winds; pictures the loosen- 
ing tentacles of cities as they release their 
prisoners to whiz into open sundown, 
starlight, and dawn ; dreams of enormous 
organism upon factory organism created 
by men's new craving for the machine; 
sees the inventive intellect conceiving, 
under the impulse of the lust for speed, 
mechanisms of such light yet terrible 
energy, that they overshoot their terres- 
trial purpose, and lift us into the king- 
doms of the air. 

In such outward-darting thoughts as 
these the defeated motorist finds re- 
creation, then leaps again into action. 
Dreams have their truth: witness the 
flight of aeroplanes whose engines could 
never have existed were it not for en- 
gines first devised for automobiles. But 
the truest of dreams still lack the tang 
of actuality. Craving this, the defeated 
motorist soon spurns vicarious pleasures 
for experience of a machine sometimes 
wayward, sometimes whimsical, yet pow- 
erful as the spirit that rose out of Alad- 


What it means to be an Enfranchised Woman 

din's jar. By the magic of the Machine 
its master grows familiar with hidden 
beauties in smoke and pavement, earth 
and sky, and shares them in companion- 
ship with all lovers of reality. If Heaven 
smiles, he finds some few as gayly laugh- 

ing as that spectator of a certain fledge- 
ling's ox-drawn progress; and if one of 
these be possessed by the spirit not only 
of comedy but of tenderness and awe, he 
may learn at last the truest romance of 




IT is not a truism to say that nobody 
but the enfranchised woman knows what 
it means to be an enfranchised woman, 
for apparently this experience belongs in 
the category with running hotels and 
newspapers, and everybody thinks he 
understands perfectly what it signifies, 
even if he has only taken note of its oper- 
ations from a car window. The average 
critic is ready to join in " Hilarion's " 
song, and describe the ambitions of wo- 
men according to Gilbert : 

The little pigs they 're teaching for to fly, 

For to fly, 
And the niggers they'll be bleaching, by and by, 

By and by ; 
Each newly joined aspirant to the clan, 

To the clan, 
Must repudiate the tyrant known as man, 

Known as man. 

They mock at him and flout him, 
For they do not care about him, 
And they 're going to do without him, 

If they can. 

Others, with more sanguine tempera- 
ments, but hardly more judgment, expect 
to see sin wiped off the face of the globe. 
They expect the " kindly earth to slum- 
ber, lapt in universal law," once woman 
is given a finger, even a little finger, in the 
political pie, and when nightmares con- 
tinue to afflict the body politic they are 
grieved and do not understand. 

When women were first enfranchised 
it was confidently predicted that they 
would neglect their homes in the pursuit 

of office. When a very small percentage 
of them showed the slightest disposition 
either to accept or to seek office, it was 
argued that the politicians would have 
none of them, and that they would soon 
be eliminated as a political factor. They 
have had something the experience of Ex- 
Governor Alva Adams, Democrat, who 
once said he had "never been able to 
make a political speech that pleased the 

When Mrs. Sarah Platt Decker, the 
president of the General Federation of 
Women's Clubs, was asked what it meant 
to her to be enfranchised, she replied, 

"You can't exactly explain why suf- 
frage is desirable. If you were to post a 
notice that all the workmen of this state 
would be disfranchised at the next gen- 
eral election, you would have war and 
bloody war. Why? Does it make any 
particular difference to any individual 
workman whether Roosevelt or Bryan is 
elected ? Not a particle. Then why does 
he want to vote ? Because the vote is an 
indefinable something that makes you 
part of the plan of the world. It means 
the same to women that it does to men. 
You never ask a boy, ' Have you closed 
the saloons, have you purified politics 
and driven all the political tricksters out 
of the state ? ' No, you put your hand on 
his shoulder and you say, 'To-day, my 
boy, you are an American citizen,' and 
that is what you say to your daughter." 

What it means to be an Enfranchised Woman 


Columns of indiscriminate criticism 
and columns of injudicious praise have 
been written about the enfranchised 
woman, yet the general public does not 
get her point of view, and nobody seems 
to think of trying equal suffrage by the 
rule suggested by Mrs. Decker. It is 
assumed that it must mean something 
different in the case of woman, and her 
failure to bring about innumerable re- 
forms is considered an evidence of her 
unfitness for the ballot, while nobody 
questions the fitness of those who, having 
voted for a hundred and twenty-five 
years, have made reforms necessary in 
every state in the Union. 

What does the possession of the ballot 
mean to women ? Much or little, accord- 
ing to the woman, just as it means much 
or little to the individual man. Duty is 
always largely a matter of personal equa- 
tion. Many men and women carry their 
obligations lightly. They pay their debts 
when they get ready, or are compelled 
by process of law, and curfew ordinances 
are enacted for the benefit of their child- 

And right at this point may be found 
one of the fundamental differences be- 
tween men and women in politics. The 
man whose boy is brought home by the 
policeman or truancy officer may be 
intensely interested in politics, na- 
tional politics. He may be rabid on the 
subject of the tariff and hardly know the 
name of his alderman. The woman who 
is interested in politics begins at home, 
and has a vital interest in the quantity 
and purity of the water supply. She 
wants to know why the streets are not 
kept clean, and she is willing to help. It 
was the women of Denver who prevailed 
on the authorities to park Twenty-third 
Avenue, put up anti-expectoration signs, 
and provide garbage-cans and drinking 
fountains at the street corners. Denver's 
politics are unquestionably dirty, but 
Denver itself is a clean city. To be sure 
the smoke-consumer ordinance is not 
enforced, nor the Sunday and midnight 
closing ordinances, because Denver is run 

upon the principle, so highly lauded, that 
" municipal government is business, not 
politics," and there is a very perfect ar- 
rangement between the administration 
and many of the leading businesses of 
the city. Anything that can be done for 
the city without incommoding them can 
be accomplished, but business must not 
be interfered with, so the all-night saloon 

The first query put by the looker-on in 
Vienna who hopes to find out what the 
ballot means to woman is nearly always, 
"Do the women vote? " Now, that is a 
very significant question, for under it lies 
that latent distrust, that growing doubt 
of our form of government that can no 
longer be denied. Those who ask it 
doubtless know how many men fail to 
vote. Not long ago the returns showed 
that forty thousand men in the city of 
Boston had failed to avail themselves of 
their privilege to do so. No wonder we 
are asked if the women vote. 

And they do. Let it be firmly fixed in 
the mind that women form but forty- 
two per cent of the population of Colo- 
rado, and that they cast forty-eight per 
cent of the vote, and the thoughtful in- 
dividual will perceive that practically all 
the women vote. What is more, they 
vote just about the same in "off" years 
as they do in presidential campaigns. 
Statistics have been ' gathered several 
times, and the figures remain relatively 
the same. At one municipal election in 
Colorado Springs, the wealthiest and 
most exclusive town in the state and a 
Republican stronghold, the women cast 
fifty-two per cent of the vote, and elected 
a Democratic mayor on a law-enforce- 
ment platform. 

The next question usually is, Are the 
nominations better out of consideration 
for the woman's vote ? This is a question 
that has to be answered in two ways : if 
one says, " Yes," there must be a quali- 
fication of the affirmative. As a rule can- 
didates are better men morally, but it 
does not follow that they are better offi- 
cers. Unfortunately, the domestic virtues 


What it means to be an Enfranchised Woman- 

do not always insure sound judgment 
and executive ability. In politics Tho- 
reau's idea holds good : it is not enough 
for a man to be good, he must be good 
for something; and this is a lesson that 
women and reformers have not yet 

There are at least two cases that de- 
serve mention to show that women are 
not quite so extreme or so narrow as 
they are sometimes supposed to be. Two 
men have been nominated for judicial 
positions at different times and in differ- 
ent sections, neither of whom could get 
into the class with Caesar's wife. Their 
judicial record, however, was above re- 
proach. One of them was reflected by 
the Women's Christian Temperance 
Union vote, because he had closed the 
gambling places. The other received the 
endorsement of the Epworth League 
because he had closed the gambling dens 
and dance halls. 

But these are exceptional cases. As a 
rule, a candidate must have a clean bill 
of health morally to appeal strongly to 
the woman voter. If not, he may receive 
a half-hearted support from those of his 
party, but will lose the independent vote 
entirely, and be pretty certain to be badly 
scratched on his own ticket. The saloon 
remains in politics, but it is there by its 
representatives; saloon-keepers are no 
longer so much in evidence, personally, 
at least. Whereas men in this business 
were frequently elected to office prior to 
1893, none have been elected since in a 
number of towns, and they are not con- 
sidered desirable candidates. 

On this subject the women feel very 
strongly. When the first charter under 
the new law was to be framed for Denver 
a convention was called from all the non- 
partisan bodies in the city, and they 
nominated one-third of the twenty-one 
members of that convention, asking the 
two parties to send in nominations from 
which seven names could be chosen to 
fill out the entire quota. The proprietor 
of the Zang Brewing Company was a 
candidate for this honor, but the women 

were opposed to him. One, who had had 
more experience than the' others, went to 
the leaders of the Women's Christian 
Temperance Union delegation and stated 
her case this way. " This is our first 
chance," she said, " to get at this indus- 
try in the open. It has under cover 
killed your local-option laws and every 
other law you have proposed, and we 
have n't been sure who represented it. 
This man is a good citizen from our 
standpoint, if he is in a bad business. If 
he is in the convention, what he says will 
be authoritative, and we can probably 
secure larger concessions from him than 
we can from somebody, unknown, who 
will be looking after his interests; that 
they will be looked after, we know." The 
women were obdurate, however, and he 
was not named. He did serve upon the 
second charter convention, after the first 
charter had been defeated. 

On the question of temperance it has 
meant a great deal to the women to be 
enfranchised, though this is not evident 
in the large cities of the state. In Pueblo 
and Denver they are practically power- 
less. In Colorado Springs the sale of 
liquor is prohibited, and there is a more 
or less continuous warfare against its il- 
licit sale by drugstores, and in so-called 
" clubs." Greeley is also, by virtue of its 
charter, a " dry " town, but in the mining 
camps it is almost impossible to make 
much headway. All over the state, how- 
ever, when the returns come in, the only 
question involved is usually " wet " or 
"dry," and the temperance "arid belt" 
seems slowly growing. 

One incident will suffice. Ten years 
ago there was a little town of less than a 
hundred inhabitants about twenty-five 
miles from Denver. It was a very tiny 
town, but it managed to support two 
saloons with the aid of the surrounding 
territory. A woman active in Women's 
Christian Temperance Union work 
moved into the neighborhood shortly 
before the spring election, and learning 
that the sole question was the issuance 
of licenses to these saloons, she organ- 

What it means to be an Enfranchised Woman 


ized the women, who had only lacked a 
leader, and they defeated the license 
ticket, and have kept the saloon out of 
that town ever since. The town has more 
than quadrupled in size, and several 
important industries are now carried on 

The last legislature passed a local- 
option law, about which there is a wide 
diversity of opinion. It requires a forty 
per cent referendum to submit the ques- 
tion of license or no license, and this 
is the main point of difference; advo- 
cates of the bill when it was pending 
explained that it would be much easier 
for temperance people to get signatures 
than for saloon men to do so, and that 
once " dry," any territory would be much 
more likely to remain so. The oppo- 
nents said that inasmuch as the initia- 
tive would generally rest with them, it 
was a hardship to require so many sig- 
natures to a petition for submission, and 
thus put upon them the double work and 
expense of getting the petition and mak- 
ing a campaign for its adoption. They 
argued that it would have been fairer 
and easier to have secured fifty-one per 
cent of the total vote. After eighteen 
months the "dry" territory has mate- 
rially increased. Several wards excluded" 
the saloon in the May election in Den- 
ver. As usual in such cases, the liquor 
dealers will contest the constitutionality 
of the law in the courts. 

There have been individual campaigns 
and candidates that have shown some- 
thing of the power of women when they 
have worked together. The reelection by 
the Civic Federation, of Mr. MacMur- 
ray as mayor of Denver, when he had 
broken with the Republican machine; 
the election of Mrs. Helen L. Grenfell 
three times to the state superintendency 
of public instruction; the election of 
Judge Ben B. Lindsay when both party 
machines had an understanding that he 
was to be shelved, these are signifi- 
cant instances; but after all, the real 
meaning of government lies deeper than 
the choice of a few eminently fit candi- 

dates for office and the exclusion of unfit 
individuals. If the franchise were im- 
portant only on the occasion of Colo- 
rado's biennial elections, it would mean 
no more to women than it apparently 
does to men. As Senator Peffer said 
of Kansas, that it was not a place but a 
condition, so one might say of the suf- 
frage, that it is not the ballot itself, or the 
polls, but a general and well-understood, 
even if undefined, attitude of mind. 

The ballot has brought with it an 
intangible something that no one can 
understand who has not had to deal with 
public officials first as a humble suppliant 
and then as a constituent. It is quite 
possible to find men who will refer slight- 
ingly to women, but that is not confined 
to suffrage states, and the men who sneer 
at them now are the same gentlemen 
who referred to them gently as " old 
hens " and " hatchet-faced females " in 
that chivalrous past that we hear so much 

It is, by the way, a singular fact that 
men seem unable to consider the abstract 
question of voting quite apart from its 
personal bearings. For instance, one 
well-known Denver writer laments that 
since the disastrous year of 1893 he has 
seen upon the streets of Denver " the 
sad faces of unloved women." Both 
before and since that time the sad faces 
of unloved, unlovable men have not been 
absent from our thoroughfares, but who 
ever thought of such a thing as disfran- 
chising a man in order that he might 
be rendered attractive ? Socrates would 
never have received so much as honor- 
able mention in a beauty contest. Yet 
this kind of thing is accepted seriously, 
and men are influenced, not by argu- 
ments but by the personality of the one 
who presents them, when it is a matter 
of woman's enfranchisement. 

There are certain things that all women 
want. The first law they asked for after 
their enfranchisement was one making 
them co-equal guardians of their child- 
ren, with the father, and it passed prac- 
tically without a dissenting voice. They 


What it means to be an Enfranchised Woman 

had not secured it before, and such a law 
does not obtain in a third of the states of 
the Union to-day, though everywhere wo- 
men have sought to obtain it. The next 
thing they did was to establish a State 
Home for Dependent Children, and from 
that time on they have passed first one 
and then another law for the protection 
of childhood, until no children in the 
world are better cared for than those of 
Colorado. Other states have similar laws, 
and some of them claim to possess bet- 
ter ones, but the peculiarity of the Colo- 
rado laws is that they are enforced. This 
is largely possible because the Colorado 
Humane Society is a part of the state 
administration, though its management 
remains in the society. This bureau has 
over seven hundred volunteer officers, 
scattered all over the state; this means 
that in the vast territory of one hundred 
and three thousand odd square miles 
there is no place so remote, on lonely 
prairie or in deserted mountain glen, that 
the law cannot hear " an infant crying 
in the night . . . and with no language 
but a cry." 

The greatest difficulty in enforcing the 
compulsory school law is in the cases of 
foreigners who can't understand why a 
man has not the right to work his own 
children in " a free country." One of the 
truancy officers reported the case of an 
Italian boy several times. To evade the 
school law the father sent the child into 
the next county and put him to work in a 
coal mine; but it is a state law, and the 
authorities brought the boy back and 
brought the father into court, where he 
was given his choice of sending his boy 
to school or going to jail himself. 

Women have always been regarded as 
natural conservatives, but it is interesting 
to note the gradual effacement of the 
imaginary lines of demarcation between 
social classes where women are most 
active in public affairs. The Pingree 
Gardens, Social Settlements, Neighbor- 
hood Houses, Day Nurseries, and like 
interests fostered by women's clubs have 
done much to bring women together, 

and the ballot-box is the most democratic 
of all social institutions. True, the wo- 
man meets only her own neighbors at 
the polls, while she touches elbows with 
all the world in shops, theatres, and 
public places; but in all other places- it 
is an individual interest, at the polls it 
is a common interest and one that affects 
the public. The difference is infinite. 
And as the woman of education and in- 
telligence is apt to be better informed 
than the woman of more restricted op- 
portunities, she has greater influence, and 
thus it comes that slowly but surely the 
process that seems to some people to be 
one of disintegration, becomes a leveling 

To those who fear the fierce partisan- 
ship of women it may be rather startling 
to know that such a thing as a party 
measure has never been espoused by 
women in any legislature, in Colorado at 
least. Women want the same things, and 
they have worked together in perfect 
harmony. They wanted a pure-food law, 
and secured one in line with the national 
provision in the last legislature; they 
want civil service, and they have obtained 
that in a measure, though the ideal thing 
is yet to come; they want honest elec- 
tions and the elimination of graft. 

During the session of the last legis- 
lature an attempt was made to change 
the law in regard to the control of 
the State Bureau of Child and Animal 
Protection, taking it from the Colorado 
Humane Society and creating a political 
board. Every federated club in the state 
besieged its senators and representatives, 
and the vice-chairmen of the two domi- 
nant parties waited on different members 
of the legislature together to enter their 
protest. Men understand that in legis- 
lative matters, when they oppose the wo- 
men, it is practically all the women, and 
the great independent vote of the state. 

One inference would be that this would 
bestow on the women the balance of 
power, and make them invincible; but 
long ago they found that if there was 
no politics in their attempts to secure 

What it means to be an Enfranchised Woman 


cleaner politics by means of better reg- 
istration, primary laws, etc., there wag 
no politics in the opposition to them, and 
Republican and Democratic machine 
men agreed that nothing must be done 
to interfere with the machine, and still 
agree. Hincillcelachrimce. After a dozen 
years of this the enfranchised woman 
understands that eternal vigilance is the 
price of a republican form of govern- 
ment, and that most people grow weary 
in well-doing about the second watch. 
Sometimes she grows discouraged, like 
that great home-keeping army of men 
who take no interest in politics; in rare 
instances she understands the belligerent 
tendencies of Carrie Nation ; and some- 
times she begins to see, even if it is 
through a glass darkly, that government 
is an evolutionary process, and it does 
not yet appear what it shall be. If she is 
a reader of newspapers, which have been 
fairly successful in filching from us our 
convictions, leaving nothing more stable 
than a few opinions in their place, she 
believes that we are on the top wave of 
prosperity, or on the way to destruction, 
according to her political affiliations. If 
she has read a little history and learned 
to reason, she thanks God and takes 

Unfortunately, the thinking type of 
citizen, man or woman, is not the com- 
monest among us. Whatever else has 
caused the condition prevalent over the 
United States, our political situation is 
not the result of deep, earnest, general 
thoughtf ulness. 

But the enfranchised woman has to 
think, whether she wants to or not. At 
church she is likely to be reminded that 
it is her civic duty to see that the city is 
made decent for childish feet; at the club 
she hears of the iniquities of food adul- 
teration and learns that the food she is 
setting before the king may be the cause 
of bibulous habits, while her own bread 
and honey are nothing but the chaff the 
wind has failed to drive away, and a 
preparation of glucose. When the county 
commissioners misappropriate the public 

funds she knows that it is the children's 
bread that is being given to dogs. 

What does it mean to be an enfran- 
chised woman? It is easier to tell what 
it does n't mean. It does not mean the 
pleasing discovery that " politics is the 
science of government; " it does not 
mean attending a few political meetings 
and reading a few bits of campaign liter- 
ature ; it does not even mean going to the 
polls and voting as conscientiously as one 
knows how. All of that is but a small 
portion of it. The vital part of being 
enfranchised is not to be found in its 
political aspects at all, but in its effect 
in teaching us our relationship with the 
life about us. The real significance lies 
in getting in touch with what newspaper 
people call " the human interest " of 
daily life, and finding one's own place 
in the great scheme of the universe. 

And to be enfranchised means to make 
mistakes? Yes, dozens of them. And 
failures? Yes, scores, and some of the 
worst of them come in the guise of suc- 
cesses. That's what it means to be alive. 
The journey to the Delectable Moun- 
tains does not lie through the Elysian 
fields but through the Slough of Despond, 
past the Giant Despair, over the Hill 
Difficulty, and down into the Valley of 
the Shadow. And many men are dis- 
couraged with equal suffrage ? Yes, but 
hearken unto this true story. 

During the last campaign in Colorado 
a little German woman walked into one 
of the state headquarters and sat down 
with a sigh. " Veil," she said, wiping her 
forehead, " I vas most discourached mit 
mens. You know dey haf change die 
precincts in our county, und ve not rech- 
ister die same blace some more but fife 
miles oudt in die country. I vas visiting 
mit some friends dere, und dot snow 
come und der man he not can pull die 
beets. Die mens tink of nuttings but die 
beets dis fall. I say, * Now you cannot 
pull die beets, hitch up vonce und ve go 
rechister,' und er sagen, ' Ach, nein, dere 
vas blenty of dime ! ' I vas dot provoked, 
aber I say, ' No, dere is shust to-day und 


With the Laurel 

to-morrow. You get dot big vagon, und 
I go finds some beeples.' Veil, he get 
hitched up, und I find zwelf beeples, und 
ve drive dot fife miles und ven ve get 
dere it was fife o'clock. Der shudge und 
die clerks dey haf sit dere all day, und 
ve vas die erste to come to rechister. 
Ach, dese men! I vas discourached mit 
dem! " 

Both men and women find human 
nature discouraging at times, and it be- 
hooves us to be patient with one another. 
The stream does not rise higher than its 
source, and with us government is not 
a remote something far away, but just 
what we, in our individual precincts, will 
that it shall be. 

When the school readers give the child- 
ren " The Launching of the Ship " as the 
perfect picture of the Union that is to 
sail on, 

In spite of rock and tempest's roar, 
In spite of false lights on the shore, 

they should give them also " The Ship that 
Found Herself " as a companion piece. 
Part of us are like the foremast that be- 
lieved the whole sea was in a conspiracy 
against the ship, and part of us are like 
the rivets, and " confess that we can't 
keep the ship together," and all of us 
need somebody like the Steam to come 
along and tell us that " a rivet, and espe- 
cially a rivet in our position, is really the 
one indispensable part of the ship." 
Until this miracle happens and we learn 
to pull together, we shall continue to 
experience the discomfort that comes 
from pulling apart. The enfranchised 
woman has to find this out before she 
can hope to find herself or learn what 
enfranchisement means. That man is 
still seeking it, need not discourage her. 


To Edmund Clarence Stedman 



WHO wears this crown greater than kings may wear 
Is monarch of a kingdom, once possessed, 
Nor foe nor fate from him may ever wrest! 

Illimitable as space is, and as fair 

As its illumined depths, he gathers there 
All things, obedient to his high behest. 
His is the sea, the valley's verdant breast, 

And his the mountain-summit, lost in air. 

Thought's infinite range to him no barrier bars; 
His soul no boundary knows of time or place; 

Bird, beast, flower, tree, to him in love belong; 
Child of the earth yet kindred to the stars, 
He walks in dreams with angels, face to face, 
And God Himself speaks in his voice of song. 



THE moon dropped from behind a 
cloud on to the still floor of the sky and 
shone steadily down on Hampton Roads. 
By the edge of the water stood a dark fig- 
ure looking up, while swiftly, here and 
there, across the grounds of the Institute 
which bordered on the Roads, moved 
other dark figures. With the exception 
of the still one by the water, however, they 
all seemed to be moving on to some de- 
finite purpose, to have some final goal in 
view, while Romulus Quick, still gazing 
upwards, was apparently sunk in medi- 
tation. For Romulus had just attended 
one of the Sunday evening meetings in the 
old Virginia Hall chapel, and there he had 
listened to a talk which still ran vaguely 
in his ears. 

" We have got to lift our people out 
of this abyss of ignorance and super- 
stition! " 

Romulus fastened a boat and struck 
off across the grounds, still meditating. 

" Dat's a fac'," he ruminated. 

"It's appalling," came the voice in his 
ears; " the depth of ignorance and su- 
perstition among our people is nothing 
short of appalling." 

" Sho! " murmured Romulus, " cer- 
t'nly is a shame ! " He passed out through 
the gates and turned into Goose Alley, 
while the moon from out the still floor of 
the sky now shone straight down into his 
own modest dooryard. Into the flood of 
bright, steady light bobbed two small 
colored boys, chasing their own shadows 
ecstatically, and then bobbing, with hi- 
larious tagging movements, around Rom- 
ulus's legs. 

" Oh, ain't you-all foolish 'n' triflin' ! " 
came a quick protest of disgust, "run- 
nin' roun' an' dodgin' an' bus'in' right 
out laffin' on Sunday! Now, why n't 
you 'have you'selves ? " 

The two small colored boys looked 
momentarily rebuked and then dropped 
back into their dodging manoeuvres 

" Oh, cert'nly mek me tiahed! " pro- 
tested Romulus; " look like a man cyan't 
even have no peace a-walkin' down de 
road to 'is own do'. Well, it's jes ez de 
gen'leman say, yer 's s' igrn'rant I s'pose 
yer doan' know no better, needer one uv 
yer! S' ign'rant an' superstitious! " con- 
tinued Romulus warmly, " an' I kin 
prove it! " 

The dodgers looked quite alarmed at 
the prospects. 

"I kin prove it," repeated Romulus 
with growing confidence, and glancing 
at the closed door just before him, "an' 
'xpose yer! By axin' not mo'n two free 
questions, too ! An' hyeah 's de fus' 
question now, an' yer kin answer it ef 
yer kin. W'at 's a do' fer ? " 

There was a dreadful silence, and the 
dodgers felt the hand of fate suddenly 
suspended above them with threatening 
significance, and an entire future trem- 
bling wretchedly in the balance. 

" Huh ? Wat's a do' fer ? " demanded 
Romulus again. " An' ef yer cyan't an- 
swer, w'y, jes say so! " 

" Ter open," spoke up one, with full 
realization of the frightful danger of the 

"Ter shet ! " faintly suggested the other. 

" 'T ain' no sech a thing ! " contradicted 
Romulus, with scorn too deep for really 
proper expression, " co'se sometime a 
do' does open, an' 'casion'ly it shets. But 
yer ain' s'pose it's hull' fer dat pu'pose, 
is yer ? " 

He seemed to tower miles above them, 
and the dodgers appeared to be fast 
shriveling away to indiscriminate atoms. 

" A do'," he went on, his voice adapt- 



In Goose Alley 

ing itself beautifully to the situation, " is 
p'imarily fer keepin' out mersquiters, 
wasps, rain, bu'glars, fire-flies, birds, 
tom-cats, bumble-bees, gnats, all smaller 
an'muls an' so fo'th. Nex', a do' is fer 
walkin' inter w'en yer wants ter go in, an' 
fer walkin' out nv w'en yer wants ter go 
out. Am' dat so? Well, w'at yer mean 
by stan'in' up dere an' givin' me sech 
triflin' answers fer, anyway ? " 

The dodgers looked as if they would 
like to be excused from living, if pos- 
sible, but it evidently was not possible. 
Romulus's voice once more broke the 

" Well, yer's merely 'xposed yer ign'- 
rance an' superstition, jes ez I 'spected 
yer would ! But I 'se gwine give yer one 
mo' chance, an' ef yer doan't improve 
dis time, w'y, 't won' be no hope fer yer 
tall. Wat's yer haid fer?" 

The dodgers glanced feebly at each 
other and regretted the evil moment 
when they had joyously and unsuspect- 
ingly gamboled into Goose Alley. 

'* Ter r-res' yer hat on! " ventured one 
politely, his tongue moving thickly in his 

" Ter hole yer ears on ! " breathed the 

Once more did Romulus regard them 
from an incalculable distance. 

" Well, now yer's completely 'xpose 
yerselves, an' dat's de trufe," he an- 
nounced. "Ter res' yer hat on!" he 
murmured almost sadly. " An' ter hole 
yer ears on ! Trufe is, yer 's ser deep 
down in de abyss o' ign'rance an' super- 
stition, I doan' r'ally think I kin do 
nuthin' fer yer 't all." 

They looked both worn and humble. 

" No, I jes natchelly am' gwine was'e 
my time wid yer. I'se too disgusted ter 
even mek de 'tempt ter 'mprove yer." 

He stepped up to the low door at one 
side, made primarily for keeping out 
mosquitoes, wasps, rain, burglars, and 
so forth, and opened it slowly, while the 
dodgers suddenly dodged away into the 
night again and disappeared. 

But Romulus's dreams were peaceful, 

even joyous that night, in spite of the 
trials and shocks of the evening. True, he 
figured largely in them himself, but that, 
after all, only added to the general effect 
of peace and joy. He saw himself in a 
succession of attractive lights as an 
actual student at the Institute in a natty 
blue uniform, as the proud bearer of a 
diploma, the famous graduate of gradu- 
ates, the founder of the school of schools, 
and finally as the general and final eman- 
cipator of the whole army of ignorant and 

In the light of his waking morning 
thoughts then, it came sweeping down 
on him with vivid, uncompromising real- 
ity that he had seriously neglected his 
studies of late; that he had n't even been 
attending the Whittier School, that, to 
put it plainly, he was n't making any 
preparations whatsoever for the rapidly 
approaching examinations for the Insti- 
tute. But, as he arrayed himself for the 
day in a loose suit of brown corduroy, 
which a benevolent individual of a 
previous date had once referred to as a 
hand-me-down, his ideas were fast fo- 
cusing themselves around one person who 
would, he felt certain, prove the anchor 
and final preserver that he needed in this 
time of floating misfortune and distress. 
This person was Miss Augusta Merrill, 
a Northern woman, to be sure, but one 
whose chief interest for many years had 
been this particular institution, or any- 
thing that bordered on it in any way. 
Romulus had bordered on it ever since 
he had been born into the world in Goose 
Alley, and Miss Merrill had known him 
and befriended him and urged him on 
in the paths of duty and rectitude for 
many years. She had even, at one period 
in his career, helped^ him through the 
first distracting principles of " substrac- 
tion," and now, in the face of approach- 
ing trouble, for which he was ill pre- 
pared, Romulus recognized that Miss 
Merrill w T as the one above all others to 

As he strolled down the alley in the 
morning sunshine, his eyes dwelling leis- 

In Goose Alley 


urely on bright April flowers, blooming 
here and there in small, tidy dooryards, 
it was with a glow of satisfaction that he 
suddenly recognized Miss Merrill her- 
self, crossing the main road at the end 
of the alley and moving slowly on toward 
the school gates. With a long, easy, but 
quickened stride, he traveled on until he 
stood beside her. 

" Mawnin', Miss Mer'l," he began in 
a soft, good-natured drawl, and his loppy 
felt hat came down to his knees with 
easy grace. 

" Why, good-morning, Romulus!" A 
sudden gleam of high light seemed to 
strike out from Miss Merrill's eyes. She 
had a sense of humor, if she did occa- 
sionally get swamped by the missionary 
spirit, and the sight of Romulus usually 
affected her like a spring tonic. 

"Mawnin'," repeated Romulus be- 
nignly. " I'se jes fixin' ter go 'n' inquire 
fer yer, Miss Mer'l, an' ter ax yer does 
yer reckon yer kin len' me a liT 'sistance 
wid my books. Yer see I'se thinkin' 
'bout tekkin* de 'xaminations fer de 
Ins'tute time de res' o' de chil'ren does, 
an' well, trufe is, Miss Mer'l, I'se 
studyin' mos' all time lately 'bout my 
people. An' natchelly, co'se I kin see de 
only way I kin r'ally help 'em, is ter git 
my edjercation fus an' den 'mence 'plyin' 

" Certainly. I see what you mean," 
agreed Miss Merrill. It was a long time 
since she had heard anything so alto- 
gether praiseworthy. " When would you 
like to begin, Romulus ? This evening ? " 

" Yas'm, I doan' reckon it's nuthin' 
ter pervent beginnin' dis evenin'," he 
agreed meditatingly, " yas'm, 'tain' r'ally 
nuth'n' ter pervent it." 

' All right, Romulus, I shall be at 
the house to help you this evening at 
eight. Of course, you won't keep me 

" No'm! " he assured her, smiling and 
nodding gallantly as she turned to the 
gates and wound on up the drive to the 
distant buildings. He watched her leis- 
urely as she went on, and then turned 

himself and meandered into Goose Alley 
again, while the gushing April flowers 
nodded and smiled gallantly, too, and 
Romulus traveled back to his own door 
and sat down and looked back at them, 
meditating while the morning wore on. 

But the day had worn on and the flow- 
ers had gone to sleep, and Miss Augusta 
Merrill was traveling down Goose Alley 
now, toward the same door, while shift- 
ing, indistinct figures seemed to be hover- 
ing there in the dim light as she came 
nearer. It was not until she was within 
a few yards of the shifting figures, how- 
ever, that she was able to decide on their 
exact nature, and then she stopped, a 
prominent but unnoticed observer. 

Romulus stood facing the porch where 
he had sat meditating earlier in the day, 
and across the porch was a line of boys 
of assorted sizes. They were all seated, 
and Romulus was looking down on them 
from his standing position with a half 
indulgent, half patronizing expression 
which did full justice to the future eman- 
cipator of ignorance and superstition. 

" Co'se yer kin see fer yerselves," he 
was saying in easy but friendly tones, 
" it's gwine do yer mo' good ter se' down 
yere an' listen^ at me w'ile I tries ter r'ally 
teach yer a liT sump'n' 'bout yer country 
an' edjercation an' helpin' yer people 
'n t' is ter be dodgin' 'n' taggin' up 'n' 
down de alley all de evenin' 'thout no 
pu'pose yer could r'ally name ef yer's 

There seemed to be no one who felt 
like disputing this statement openly, but 
there were suspicious signs of levity up 
and down the entire line. 

" Well, now de basis o' de matter is jes 
ez I said," broke in Romulus warmly, 
" yer ain' no pu'pose yer could r'ally 
mention, not nary one uv yer ! An' co'se 
de natchell consequence o' dat is yer set 
up dere an' ack puffeckly no-count 'n' 
triflin'. Well now yer '11 jes be 'blige dis'- 
range yer plans ef yer's gwine set on dat 
po'ch, caze de casestan's like dis. Ef yer 
wants ter 'have yerselves an' learn some 
sense so's folks wid manners 'n' edjerca- 


In Goose Alley 

tion ain' 'shame' ter look at yer w'en dey 
passes yer on de street, w'y, yer kin keep 
on settin' where yer is a liT w'ile longer. 
But ef yer ain't, I jes ain' gwine bother 
wid yer 't all, an' yer kin git up right now 
'thout stoppin' fer any argament." 

At this point, the moon slipped up 
above the horizon and shone down on a 
row of faces altogether irreproachable 
and attentive. Miss Augusta Merrill, 
leaning lightly against a fence, fully ap- 
preciative, but still unnoticed, could not 
find it in her heart to move on another 

"I'se waitinY' continued the speaker, 
pausing suggestively, " fer any leave- 
takin's or departin's." There was not a 
movement to be distinguished from any 
member of the line, and Romulus cleared 
his throat and began again. 

" Well, ef yer is 'cide' ter stay, co'se 
I'se puffeckly willin' ter len' yer all de 
'sistance I kin todes raisin' yer out o' de 
abyss o' ign'rance an' helpin' yer ter git 
r'ally stahted on de road ter learnin'." 

There were various sulky, grumbling 
undertones of response, one of which 
stood thickly but unmistakably out from 
the others. 

" I ain't in no 'byss o' ign'rance! " 

Romulus, with no rancor of feeling, 
ingratiatingly changed his tactics. 

" Well, co'se yer ain't r'ally in de 
abyss/* he went on magnanimously, 
" but yer's jes a-tippin' on de ve'y aidge! 
An* yit I reckon 'tain' too late ter ketch 
yer 'fo' yer pitch in, too, ef some one only 
stops an' tek a liT intres'. Sho! 'Tain' 
nuth'n' ter wo'y 'bout, caze ef yer '11 jes 
set still an' 'have yerself r'al good, I 
reckon I kin p'raps ketch yer an' save 
yer fum death myself. An' co'se de fus 
thing ter do is ter see ef yer kin add 
up some simple figgers." 

The dissenter, not only alarmed but 
feebly grateful, appeared to be wonder- 
ing how this was going to save him from 

" Dat is after I'se ax jes a few leadin' 
questions on learnin' in gen'al. Co'se 
'tain' no use thinkin' yer kin help yer 

people ef yer ain't 'quainted wid a few 
leadin' questions in gen'al. Well, jes ter 
git yer 'customed ter answerin' I'se 
gwine 'mence r'al easy." His hand rose 
slowly, pointing up through a long shaft 
of light. 

" Wat's dat ser bright an' shinin' 
settin' up dere yonder in de sky ? " 

There were low, doubtful murmurs, 
barely audible. 

" De moon." 

" De moon, did yer say? Well, dat's 
pretty good fer de fus' time," admitted 
Romulus gingerly, " co'se I doan' 'spec' 
much de ve'y fus time. Wat's de dif- 
funce 'tween de sun an' de moon ? 
Wat's de diffunce 'tween de sun an' 
de moon? " repeated Romulus. " Well, 
doan't set up dere grunt' n 'bout it; an- 
swer, w'y doan't yer ? Say sump'n' any- 
way." And his eyes rested encouragingly 
on a hopeful-looking countenance just 
before him. 

" 'T ain' no diffunce," returned the 
favored one, taking him at his word. 

Romulus's eye traveled pessimistically 
up and down the line. 

" 'T would 'a' been better ef yer ain't 
made any 'tempt 't all," he commented 
briefly. Then his glance fixed itself drear- 
ily on the speaker. 

" Co'se I knows yer ain't never had 
no 'xpe'ience ter speak of," he added, 
" but 'side fum all dat, cert'nly looks ter 
me like it's gwine git ve'y wea'ysome ter 
have yer in de class. Ve'y wea'ysome. 
Trufe is, de only way I kin see ter keep 
yer is fer yer ter promise right now yer 
won't nuver speak aloud ag'in under no 

As he had already been stricken abso- 
lutely dumb, the promise was altogether 

" I ain' gwine ter refer ter w'at yer 
jes said," continued Romulus delicately. 
"I'se merely now gwine pass it by an' 
'splain ter de class ez a whole w'at is de 
diffunce 'tween de sun an' de moon. Fus' 
uv all dey ain't de same an' dey could n' 
be de same caze de sun's de sun, an' de 
moon 's de moon. Secon', ef anybody 

In Goose Alley 


should ax yer w'at's de diffunce 'tween a 
dawg an' a chick'n, co'se 'tain' nobuddy 
wid sense gwine set up 'n' say 'tain' no 
diffunce, caze fus' place yer knows by 
lookin' at 'em dey is, an' second place 
ef yer looks at 'em an' r'ally thought de 
dawg wuz a chick'n, w'y, co'se yer'd 
know af thinkin' 'bout it li'l w'ile it 
r'ally could n' be, caze it's alraidy a 
dawg, an' same way wid de chick'n, 
yer'd know praesen'ly co'se it could n' 
be a dawg caze it's alraidy a chick'n. 
Same way ef anybody should ax yer ter go 
out an' call in de dawg, co'se 't ain' no- 
buddy wid edjer cation gwine out 'n' call 
in de chick'n. Furdermo' ef dey should 
ax yer ter go out an' call in de chick'n, 
co'se 't ain' nobuddy gwine out 'n' call 
in de dawg. Caze fus' place a chick'n 
only got two laigs an' a dawg got fo', an' 
ef yer start ter call in de chick'n thinkin' 
twuz de dawg, w'y, dat's gwine mek 
trouble sho, caze co'se yer'd 'spec' it ter 
come in on fo' laigs an' natchelly it 
cyan't only come in on two. Well, it's 
jes same way wid de sun an' de moon 
an' ez I wuz say in', ef yer start ter call in 
de moon ez I wuz jes sayin', it's jes 
same way 'tween de sun an' de moon 
an' co'se nobuddy wid sense or edjerca- 
tion or manners is gwine set up an' say 
't ain' jes same way, caze 't is, an' yer 
need n' say 't ain' no diffunce 'tween de 
sun an* de moon caze trufe is, it's a heap 
o' diffunce. Fus' place " 

There was something like a smothered 
choke down there by the low fence, and 
some one moved quickly forward in to 
the moonlight. 

" Romulus! " 

He turned, looking abstractedly down 
on the interrupter. 

" Yas'm, evenin', evenin', Miss Mer'l, 
I'se jes 'splainin' diffun things to 'em, 
Miss Mer'l. Caze co'se ef I'se goin' in 
de Ins'tute 't would n' be right not ter 
start helpin' 'em, anyway, so dat's de 
reason I tole 'em " 

" I see, I see, Romulus; but you know 
you have an engagement with me now." 

" Yas'm, I'se comin', Miss Mer'l. I'se 

jes 'splainin' to 'em 'bout de sun an' de 
moon. Co'se dey oughter know it's some 
diffunce 'tween de sun an' de moon, an' 
I 'se jes 'splainin' to 'em 'bout de diffunce 
fus' place 

" Yes, but tell them you will explain 
it next time! Next time, Romulus! " 

She moved up the steps, and the line 
rose to make way for her and broke, 
while Romulus, vaguely following her, 
still went on in exhortation. 

" Furdermo' de sun shines 'ntirely in 
de daytime an' de moon mos' gen'ally 
at night " 

But his dispersing class had ceased to 
listen, and only long, bright rays, striking 
down on him as he stood alone, bore 
out the truth of his final words in vivid, 
flashing agreement. 

When Miss Merrill came out again he 
was still following her, profusely appre- 
ciative of her evening's services. 

As she moved on toward some lighted 
buildings in the distance, and then turned 
her head, looking back, a figure stood 
out alone again on the low porch, stood 
out for just a moment like a dark silhou- 
ette on a bright background. Then it 
moved slowly and disappeared through 
the door. She shook her head. 

"Oh, Romulus!" she murmured, 
" are n't we undertaking almost too 

But the next evening she was there 
again while figures shifted again in the 
moonlight and Romulus's voice went 
flowing on. 

" Is it the same class, Romulus ? The 
same class that you had last night ? " 

" Yas'm, jes same." 

He knew that he had gathered them 
in as they gamboled in the alley, any- 
way, just as he had the night before. 
Why should n't it be the same ? 

She noticed, however, as the evenings 
went on and the fatal day drew near, that 
though the shifting figures might increase 
or decrease, the fact was never com- 
mented on, was even apparently unob- 
served by Romulus. She noticed, too, 
that occasionally there was no line at all 


In Goose Alley 

across the steps, that the figures shifted 
and gamboled in the near distance, both 
unnoticed and unsought. 

On one particular evening she spoke 
about it as Romulus, half sitting, half 
lying on the low porch, rose languidly at 
her approach. 

" Is it because to-morrow is the day for 
your examinations that you are resting 
instead of teaching this evening ? " 

"Wha'm yer say, Miss Mer'l? Did 
yer say ter-morrer 's de day fer de 'xam- 
inations? No'm, I'se been kine o' busy 
ter-day, so I'se jes tekkin' a liT res'. 
But ef ter-morrer 's. de day fer de 'xam- 
inations I reckon I'll be 'blige call 'em 
in, too." 

Already he was hailing them in tempt- 
ing, tactful tones, and already they were 
tumbling gradually towards the porch. 
As they dropped into a shiftless, grinning 
line before him he regarded them seri- 

" Well, now it's jes like dis," he began. 
" Ter-morrer I'se gwine tek de 'xamina- 
tions fer de Ins'tute. Co'se I ain' mean 
by dat I'se gwine begin 'n' pass yer by 
w'en I meets yer on de street, caze, trufe 
is, I'se gwine treat yer jes 'bout de same 
ez I allays is. 'Tain' r'ally gwine be 
'nough diffunce in de way I speaks fer 
yer ter wo'y 'bout it 't all. Nudder thing, 
co'se I kin teach yer all diffun' kine o' 
things w'en I gits in de Ins'tute, an' 
rntdder thing, ter-morrer evenin' I'se 
gwine give yer a liT cel'bration. An' 
w'en yer gits yere ter-morrer evenin' I 'se 
gwine tell yer w'at 't is." 

They had disappeared in the near dis- 
tance again, and Miss Merrill and her 
pupil had disappeared into the house. 
When they finally reappeared, after a 
long, last evening of labor, they both 
looked involuntarily away to some lighted 

" Would you be disappointed if you 
failed, Romulus? Of course you 

But Romulus was staring fixedly at 
the lighted buildings, and hardly seemed 
to hear. 

" Well, good-night. Try not to be dis- 
appointed if you fail, Romulus." 
" Good-night, Miss Mer'l." 

The sun rose with a particularly warm 
and beneficent glow the next morning, 
and while the clock hovered around nine, 
Romulus stood just outside the big stone 
academic building of the Institute, bask- 
ing contentedly in the cheerful warmth, 
while streams of young colored people 
moved past him and went in. 

" Reckon I'll go in too," he meditated. 
" 'Tain' gwine do no good stan'in' yere." 

In a room with high windows through 
which the sun shone down with the same 
cheerful warmth, he was given a seat 
with perhaps twenty others. At the desk 
stood a modest little lady who passed out 
papers, and looked as if she might have 
just come herself. Romulus regarded her 
with kindly interest and glanced down 
at his paper. Then his brow puckered 
concentratedly as he bent over his desk. 

For almost two hours he had worked 
on with the same puckered brow. Then 
papers were collected, more were passed 
out, and for almost another two hours he 
had worked on again, when slowly his 
hand rose. The little lady at the desk in- 
clined her head. 

" Will yer read de las' question ? " re- 
quested Romulus, rising politely from his 
seat and clearing his throat. 

" The last ? * Write a letter to a friend 
describing the school you have attended 
during the past year and what you studied 
there.' " 

" Yas'm," agreed Romulus, regarding 
his paper, " is it mean like dis ? " He 
cleared his throat again preparatory to a 
brief, oral resume of his work, but the 
little lady at the desk proved quite equal 
to her task. 

" But you will have to wait for that. 
You know the others are at work. You 
will have to wait until after the bell 

" Yas'm," agreed Romulus, " yas'm;" 
and just here a bell struck sharply. 

Gradually all work was handed in. 

In Goose Alley 


Slowly, one after another, they passed 
out, the little lady made a neat pile on 
her desk, when again a voice sounded 
questioningly in her ears and she looked 
up to find herself alone with Romulus. 

" Of course I could n't tell you any- 
thing about it," she explained. "That 
would n't be fair, would it ? " 

" No'm. But yer see, trouble is I 
written it ter Miss Mer'l," he argued 
doubtfully. " Jes like dis: 

" * Miss Mer'l. Dear frien', I s'pose 
yer '11 be glad ter hyeah I 'se settin' yere 
tekkin de 'xaminations, an' fer dat reason 
I'se glad ter write yer.' " 

" Well ? I'm sure it's entirely right to 
have written to Miss Merrill," came the 
encouraging return, but the little lady 
was wondering, with inordinate curiosity, 
how the written work compared with the 
oral interpretation. " Entirely right 
if you answered the question." 

" Yas'm," agreed Romulus, with more 
assurance. " Well, I written it ter Miss 
Mer'l, anyway. Yas'm. I'll read it ter 
yer." And the oral interpretation con- 
tinued : 

" ' Miss Mer'l. Dear frien', I s'pose 
yer '11 be glad ter hyeah I'se settin' yere 
tekkin' de 'xaminations an' fer dat reason 
I 'se glad ter write yer.' " He glanced 
briefly at the little lady, who seemed to be 
feeling a bit inadequate to circumstances, 
and continued: " ' Fus' place I'se been 
ser busy lately I ain't had time fer no 
foolishness, an' yer knows too, I'se mek- 
kin' all p'eparations to uplif my people. 
Well, it's some kine o' wuk, 'specially ef 
yer deal wid de ign'rant. Co'se ef yer 
tek 'em w'en dey's edjercated 't would n' 
be ser bad, but cert'nly is wea'ysome 
tryin' ter uplif de ign'rant, ez I knows 
counten doin' it myself. At fus' co'se dey 
ain't ser bad twell dey starts inter laf an' 
play an' den I tole 'em ef dey's gwine 
stay in de class I could n' 'low 'em nuver 
speak 't all, so now dey's doin' pretty 
good, an' ter-night I'se gwine give 'em 
a cel'bration counten gittin' in de Ins'- 
tute. I ain't 'ntirely 'cided 'bout it but I 
reckon it'll be singin' wid p'raps peanuts 
VOL. 102 - NO. 2 

'n' prayer. Co'se I cyan't 'spec' fer 'em 
ter set up an' 'have 's good 's usual at a 
'casion like dat, an' natchelly I'se gwine 
give 'em mo' liberties 'n dey 's been 'cus- 
tom' to befo', but I doan' r'ally reckon 
it's gwine do 'em no pumanent ha'm, 
an' anyway, after I gits in de Ins'tute, 
co'se I'll be 'blige mek 'em wuk all time. 
W'y, it's a gen'leman over 't de Ins'tute 
one Sunday, say it's a po'tion o' de culPd 
folks where 's ser shif'liss 'n' lazy look like 
yer cyan't scacely do nuth'n wid 'em 't 
all. Well, af I graduates an' start a 
school co'se I kin teach 'em better in 
diffun kine o' ways. One way is not give 
'em nuth'n' t' eat but p'raps sump'n' like 
pieces o' boa'd or 'casionally a ole hat 
an' nudder way is ter hide dey clo'es w'en 
dey goes ter baid at night so dey cyan't 
have 'em in de mawnin' twell dey pro- 
mises dey '11 go ter wuk 'thout no mo' 
shif'lissnes an' nudder way is make 
b'leve yer's gwine move de furniture an' 
p'raps set it righ' down atop uv 'em. An' 
co'se edjercation too, caze co'se all de res' 
ain' gwine do de leas' good lessen yer 
puts in edjercation too. Dat's jes w'at I 
keep on tellin' 'em in de class, dey kin 
git new clo'es, a necktie or p'raps a new 
pair pants, but 't ain' gwine do 'em de 
leas' good 'thout dey gits edjercation too, 
so dey might jes ez well keep on wea'in' 
dey ole ones. W'y, de gen'leman say he 
know'd a man once 'thout no laigs or 
arms. I ain' nuver 'xpe'ience no sech 
plaisure's dat myself, but de stranges' 
part uv it wuz, he's gotten ser much ed- 
jercation he could set all day an' read 'n' 
talk an' nuver miss 'em. So co'se dat's 
anudder thing fer edjercation, too, any 
time yer loses yer laigs an' arms yer 
kin set all day an' read *n' talk an' 
nuver miss 'em. Yours truly, ROMULUS 

The reader folded his paper again and 
glanced at the modest little lady for ap- 
probation. But she was blowing her nose 
so violently that she was quite unable to 
frame a sentence immediately. 

" Does yer reckon Miss Mer'l '11 like 
it ? " interrogated Romulus. 


In Goose Alley 

" I should think quite quite likely," 
came the somewhat floundering reply: 
" but you did n't really answer the 
question, after all, did you ? The ques- 
tion, you know, about about the 
school you have attended ! " 

" No'm," agreed Romulus, "I didn' 
r'ally git ter dat part uv it. Does yer 
reckon I kin fine out ter-morrer ef I'se 

"I should think so I certainly should 
think so!" 

" Yas'm." And Romulus passed out, 
leaving the modest little lady at the desk 
feeling a bit weak and fragile. 

He had wandered around rather aim- 
lessly that afternoon, and now he sat on 
the low porch and looked away toward 
the burnished tossing water in the dis- 
tance, and watched the sun drop lower 
and finally drown itself in the burnished 

" Reckon I'll go over ter Miss Hoar's 
office," meditated Romulus, already a 
little hazy on previous conversations ; 
"Miss Hoar, she's de r'al headquarters, 
an' she 'II know ef I'se pass;" and slowly 
he pulled himself up and sauntered away 
down Goose Alley, while the burning 
afterglow struck in warm colors on his 

How Miss Hoar happened to be in her 
office at just that time Romulus did not 
ask. He merely stood before her with a 
loppy felt hat in his hand and a question 
on his lips. 

" Did you pass ? " she repeated kindly, 
glancing over a pile of papers on her 
desk, which had already been brought 
in. Then she stopped, selected two or 
three, and looked back at Romulus 
standing before her and fingering at his 
loppy felt hat. Miss Hoar was used to 
this sort of thing. 

" No, I'm afraid you did n't." From 
her voice Romulus almost had a notion 
that she had said, " Yes, I think you did." 

"You say I I didn'?" he ques- 
tioned quickly. "Yas'm. Thank you." 
And he turned and went down the stairs 

As he came out of the building and 
walked away down the broad walk, the 
colors from the glowing sky and water 
struck softly on him again, and his shoul- 
ders seemed to drop forward under his 
worn, loose coat. But he walked stead- 
ily on, past the large, homey-looking 
buildings, down the long, winding road 
to the gates and then he turned into 
Goose Alley again. He noticed, as he 
came on, that there were figures in the 
distance, shifting, gamboling aimlessly 
in the last rays of the sun, and his eyes 
moved slowly from the ever-shifting fig- 
ures to the glowing sky until he came to 
the low porch. Then he sat down, his 
eyes wandering absently, until the chapel 
bell at the Institute struck dully on his 
ears and he pulled himself up again. 

" Reckon I'll go," he muttered. 

The last notes of a song came rushing 
out to him as he opened the chapel door, 
and the assembled company sat down, 
while Romulus slid in softly and sat 
down, too. Then a man rose to speak, 
and again Romulus's gaze wandered ab- 
sently, drearily, over the rows and rows 
of upturned faces, until suddenly it re- 
turned and focused itself steadily on the 
speaker. He had heard him before. He 
had heard him one Sunday evening when 
he had talked about about the igno- 
rance and superstition of his race. He 
had heard him His mind stopped short 
in its wanderings, and slow, distinct 
words fell unmistakably on his ears. 

" It is n't so much the amount of edu- 
cation you get," the voice was saying, 
" as what you do with what you do get. 
Why, I know of a young colored man 
who has had so little education that you 
young people here might not have much 
respect for it. And yet what is he doing ? 
He is teaching a class of the most ignor- 
ant boys that he can find, everything 
that he does know." 

The speaker's voice dropped gently as 
he thought of his conscientious, hard- 
working friend, miles away, and Romu- 
lus's breath came quickly and his eyes 
caught a slow fire. How should he know 

In Goose Alley 


how should that gentleman know that 
about him ? 

" They meet every evening," went on 
the voice, " and this young man is trying 
to teach them everything that he knows. 
Isn't that sort of thing worth talking 
about ? Is n't that young man one of the 
leaders that we want ? " 

Romulus was leaning away forward, 
a deep, burning red just showing under 
his dark skin, his eyes glowing steadily 
up at the speaker. He had n't known 
that it was all going to be about him; he 
had n't known 

The speaker sat down, and Romulus 
sank back gently in his seat, while words 
that had died in the stillness seemed to 
come back and echo again, louder and 
louder, while the long rows of faces still 
gazed up. 

But they were all marching out again, 
the speaker was slowly descending from 
the platform, and Romulus, with his 
breath coming rapidly again, was waiting 
by the door. 

"I I'd like fer you ter see de 
class," he began unsteadily as the two 
stood for the moment side by side. 

The speaker looked at him, not just 
comprehending, and then they were 
gently pushed on with the crowd. 

"I'd like fer you ter see my 
class," repeated Romulus. "I reckon 
dey mus' be waitin' now on de po'ch." 

The speaker looked up with an acute, 
suddenly comprehensive expression. 

" Why, surely," he returned. "I'd 
like to see your class." 

They moved on together, the flush just 
visible under Romulus's dark skin, the 

man glancing up at him with a kindly, 
humorous, penetrating glance. As they 
came into Goose Alley there seemed to 
be shifting figures before them, and then, 
suddenly, the figures seemed to shift from 
the scene, and Romulus and the speaker 
were standing before a low porch, across 
which sat a long, silent, waiting row. 

They had remembered the "celebra- 
tion," and were ready. 

It was a supreme moment for Romulus, 
and he turned silently toward the speaker. 
Just for the moment even the art of con- 
versation seemed to have flown. But his 
eyes came back to the waiting row, and 
his arm moved out toward it with a flour- 
ish that wholly made up for any previous 

" All dese yere where 's settin' on de 
po'ch is de class," he announced. " I 
teaches 'em eve'y evenin'." 

The line listened wonderingly while the 
same voice alternated with the pleased, 
encouraging one of the speaker, until 
suddenly they both stopped, and the 
speaker, with the same kindly, humor- 
ous, penetrating glance, looked at Rom- 
ulus and put his hand on his shoulder. 

" Good-by," he said. " I shan't forget 
that you're a leader, one of our leaders! 
I shan't forget it! " 

He was moving away down the alley, 
and silently Romulus's eyes followed him 
until he was lost in the shadow. Then 
they turned back again to the waiting 
row, and grew mistily soft. 

" Now, fus' uv all," he began, just a 
bit unsteadily, and then he stopped and 
began again; "fus' uv all we'll begin 
wid de celebration." 



THE forces which have operated in 
the past to restrict population have had 
their origin principally in turbulence and 
ignorance. In this age, the population 
of civilized nations is chiefly affected by 
two factors, migration and decreasing 
fecundity, both of which are essentially 
economic in character. 

The effect of migration upon popula- 
tion is less pronounced than that of de- 
creasing birth-rate. Emigration in the 
twentieth century is largely a practical 
matter. Ambitious or discontented men 
and women in every community of Eu- 
rope are offered continual opportunity 
to migrate at small expense, and without 
delay, hardship, or danger, to countries 
in which the labor market or natural 
resources appear to be especially inviting. 
To nations developing great industries, 
labor is furnished by others in which 
industry is inactive and labor plentiful. 
Hence the United States still the leader 
in industrial development thus far has 
been the highest bidder; but the facility 
with which the present-day emigrant 
passes from his native land to the United 
States or elsewhere, is no greater than 
that with which he can return, or move 
on to other lands more to his liking. 

As the century advances, emigration 
may be expected to become even more 
a matter of business, governed by the 
inducements offered by this or that na- 
tion, no matter where located. There is 
likely to be less stability to alien popula- 
tion, and little probability that migration 
will continue to flow in definite streams 
or directions. A German writer has re- 
cently asserted that the nations fall into 
two classes : emigration states and immi- 
gration states. In which class a nation 
remains is likely in the future to depend 
upon its enterprise, and thus upon its 


ability to offer greater inducements to 
aliens than those offered by other na- 
tions. A condition such as this is doubt- 
less new in the world's history, but it is 
only one of the innumerable ways in 
which our age is breaking from all prece- 
dent and proving itself unique. 

General and continued decrease in 
fecundity hence decrease in the pro- 
portion of children in the community 
is apparently another new factor in pop- 
ulation change, new at least in certain 
aspects. Many causes have been assigned 
for this present tendency of civilized na- 
tions. Most of these relate directly or 
indirectly to modern conditions social 
and educational and to modes of liv- 
ing. There is, however, a cause of far 
greater consequence. From the earliest 
ages until within the last twenty years, 
population increase has been largely a 
matter of instinct, reproduction resulting 
as nature determined. Voluntary restric- 
tion of family, however, is now well un- 
derstood and widely practiced in civilized 
nations. The ultimate effect upon popu- 
lation of such control cannot thus early 
be measured or even predicted, but it is 
a fact which economists must confront, 
that in the future the proportion of in- 
stinctive or accidental births will con- 
stantly decrease, and that of deliberately 
predetermined births will increase. It is 
obvious that this knowledge tends toward 
decreasing fecundity; hence, as already 
suggested, its effect must be more far- 
reaching upon increase of population 
than that of migration. 

It is not possible to foretell the effect 
of making the world a vast labor market 
such as it is fast becoming, nor is it pos- 
sible fully to determine the cause of the 
decreasing size of families which seems 
to be characteristic of this period, and 

The Diminishing Increase of Population 


possibly due, in the final analysis, to 
some great natural law made operative 
by modern conditions. These conditions, 
indeed, differ so radically from those ex- 
isting in earlier periods that they may be 
expected to produce results along un- 
familiar lines. Our age is comparable 
with no preceding age. Statistics, the 
stars which men in this century read to 
forecast the future, merely suggest the 
mighty economic changes which are in 
progress, and often light but dim trails. 

Changes in the Population of Europe. 

In 1860 the population of Europe, in- 
cluding the British Isles, but exclusive 
of Russia and Turkey in Europe (the 
former having made but one enumeration 
and the latter none at all), according to 
the censuses nearest the date mentioned, 
was 207,572,650. In 1900 the aggregate 
population of the nations previously 
included was 265,851,708, an absolute 
increase of 58,279,158, or slightly more 
than 25 per cent in 40 years. The increase 
in population during the decade from 
1860 to 1870 was practically nothing, 
the direct result of the Franco-German 
war, as both France and Germany re- 
ported decreased population in 1870. 
In 1880 the percentage of increase for the 
previous decade was approximately 8 per 
cent; in 1890, slightly less than 8 per 
cent; and in 1900 slightly more. The 
population of Europe, including Great 
Britain, has thus increased at a slow but 
practically uniform rate for the past 30 
years, although a continued drain, due 
to emigration, has been in progress. 

The Latin, or southern nations of Eu- 
rope, 1 are increasing in number of inhab- 
itants less rapidly than most of the other 
nations of the continent. During the 
last two decades of record, the German- 
ic and Anglo-Saxon nations 2 increased 
8.8 per cent from 1880 to 1890, and 
11.4 per cent from 1890 -to 1900, while 

1 France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, and Greece. 

2 Great Britain, Germany, Austria, Bel- 
gium, Holland, Switzerland, Sweden, Norway, 
and Denmark. 

the Latin nations (including Greece) 
increased but 6 per cent during the for- 
mer, and 3.8 per cent during the latter 
decade. This noteworthy difference be- 
tween the two groups is not explained by 
proportionately greater immigration to 
the United States from the southern na- 
tions, since the natives of those countries 
living in the United States represented 
but 0.2 per cent of the aggregate popula- 
tion of the Latin nations in 1880, and 
0.6 per cent in 1900 ; on the other hand, 
the residents of the United States native 
in the Germanic and British group were 
equivalent to 3.9 per cent and 4.2 per 
cent, respectively, of the total population 
of those countries. 

In absolute figures, the nine nations in 
the Germanic and British group aggre- 
gated 138,722,939 population in 1880, 
and 168,185,537 in 1900, thus recording 
an increase of approximately thirty mil- 
lions ; while that of the five nations in the 
Latin group was 88,741,312 in 1880, and 
97,666,171 in 1900, showing an increase 
of nearly nine millions. The population 
disparity between the two groups in 
1880 was 50,000,000, but in 1900 it had 
increased to 70,500,000. 

If existing tendencies thus indicated 
shall continue, it is evident that the pop- 
ulation of the Latin nations will speed- 
ily reach a stationary or declining condi- 
tion, while the other group continues to 
increase, even though much less rapidly 
than at present. 

It must be remembered that each of 
the nations here considered relies almost 
wholly upon native stock for its increase. 
The total number of aliens or persons of 
foreign birth reported at the censuses 
of the various nations in 1900, or at the 
nearest census thereto, was slightly more 
than two and a half millions, or but one 
per cent of the total; therefore the in- 
crease reported represents the growth of 
the native population. 

The important fact brought out by 
this brief analysis is the virility of Eu- 
rope's population, its reproductive pow- 
er after many centuries of existence. It 


The Diminishing Increase of Population 

is probable, indeed, that the increase 
has been greater during the past century 
than in any previous period. This is the 
more significant when it is remembered 
that the states of Europe without excep- 
tion have contributed freely of their in- 
habitants, not only to the United States, 
but to South America and to the various 
colonies and commercial centres of the 

Changes in the Population of the United 

In 1790, at the beginning of our con- 
stitutional government, the young repub- 
lic found itself possessed of 3,929,214 
inhabitants, composed of 3,172,006 white, 
and 757,208 negro, or 80.7 and 19.3 per 
cent respectively. This may be termed 
native stock, since the immigrant, as we 
know him, did not then exist. 

From 1790 to 1860 the percentage of 
increase remained roughly uniform, that 
reported from 1850 to 1860 (35.6 per 
cent) being almost the same as the rate 
of increase shown from 1790 to 1800 
(35.1 per cent). After 1860, with some 
variation due to the Civil War, the rate 
of increase steadily diminished, shrinking 
to 20.7 in the decade 1890 to 1900, with 
the probability that the percentage of 
increase from 1900 to 1910 will approxi- 
mate but 18 per cent. 

Of the two racial elements of popula- 
tion, the increase in the number of negroes 
has declined from 32.3 per cent, reported 
from 1790 to 1800, to 18 per cent from 
1890 to 1900. The increase in the num- 
ber of whites, from 35.8 per cent reported 
in 1800, declined with irregular changes 
to 21.2 per cent in 1900, although rein- 
forced during the century by increasing 
throngs of immigrants, to which must be 
added the mighty company of their de- 

It is impossible to determine to what 
extent the colonial stock, if unassisted, 
would have increased the population of 
the United States. Children born in this 
country of immigrants are added to the 
native-born ; their children are classed as 

native-born of native parents; thus the 
foreign element becomes so woven into 
the national fabric that the strands are 
statistically indistinguishable. 

In 1890 the classification of " native- 
born of native parents " was introduced 
in Census analysis, 1 the effect of which 
was to separate the native and foreign 
elements one generation farther back 
than " native-born." Use of this classifi- 
cation reveals the fact that the increase 
in the number of persons in the United 
States born of native parents, computed 
upon the total native white population, 
declined nearly one- third from 1880 to 
1900 (20.5 per cent to 14.5 per cent). 

By a slightly different process the in- 
crease of the native-born was computed 
at the census of 1900 to have been 16 
per cent for the previous decade, and in 
the North Atlantic division not more 
than 9.5 per cent. While the results of 
computations of increase in the various 
elements of the population may thus 
vary slightly, they confirm the general 
fact of material diminution of increase. 

In 1820 the proportion of white child- 
ren under ten years of age to the total 
native white population was 32.7 per 
cent, or almost one-third. In fact, twelve 
of the twenty-six states and territories 
reported more than one-third of their 
white population as being under the age 
of ten. 

In 1900 the proportion which children 
formed of the total population classed as 
native white of native parents, was 26 
per cent; but two out of 50 states and ter- 
ritories reported a proportion of children 
exceeding one-third of the population. 
Moreover, in the majority of states and 
territories the proportion declined from 
1890 to 1900. If the states in existence 
in 1800 be considered, so that the figures 
may be strictly comparable for a century, 
the proportion of children to the entire 
white population was 34.4 per cent in 
1800 (28.1 per cent in 1850) and 24.6 
per cent (native white of native parents) 
in 1900. In New England, indeed, the 
1 In 1870 and 1880 by derivation. 

The Diminishing Increase of Population 


proportion has shrunk almost half, from 
32.2 per cent to 17.9 per cent. 

In 1820 no state reported the propor- 
tion of white children under 10 years 
so low as one-quarter of the total white 
population, but in 1900, more than two- 
fifths of the states reported the propor- 
tion of native white children as being less 
than one-quarter of the total native white 
inhabitants. This number included all 
the Pacific Coast states (in each of which 
the proportion declined from 1890 to 
1900), three Western states, Montana, 
Nevada, and Colorado, which perhaps 
may be disregarded because of the dis- 
turbing influence of mining communities, 
and fourteen, comprising all the Eastern, 
Northern, and Middle states as far west 
as the Illinois line. It is significant that 
these fourteen form the manufacturing 
centre of the United States. They con- 
tributed, in 1900, 71 per cent of the total 
value of all manufactured product, and 
contained 46.2 per cent of the total popu- 
lation. The decrease in the proportion 
of native children thus appears to be 
most pronounced in the wealthiest and 
most populous sections, conspicuous for 
urban communities and the most exten- 
sive industrial interests. 

While, as shown, it is impossible to 
separate the early native element and the 
later foreign element so as to measure the 
contribution of each to the total popula- 
tion, it is obvious that the United States, 
in the face of ever-increasing reinforce- 
ments from abroad, has recorded a de- 
clining rate of increase and a decreasing 
proportion of children. Having accom- 
plished an extremely rapid and some- 
what artificial growth, the American Re- 
public appears to be approaching a con- 
dition in which, were the ship of state to 
cast off the towline of immigration, she 
would make very slow population head- 

The Effect of Diminishing Increase in 
the United States. 

Were the present rate of alien arrivals 
in the United States to continue, that 

fact, in the light of the census record, 
would merely justify expectation of con- 
tinued diminution of increase. Were such 
diminution to continue to the middle of 
the twentieth century, at the same rate 
per decade as shown from 1860 to 1900, 
the population of continental United 
States in 1950 would not exceed 130 mil- 
lions, and after that date would tend to 
become stationary. This figure is far 
below the forecasts of population, sen- 
sational in their liberality, made by news- 
paper and magazine writers from time to 
time. There is, indeed, a popular ten- 
dency to overestimate future population. 
Predictions concerning the number of 
inhabitants likely to be living in the 
United States in 1900, which were made 
early in the nineteenth century, or within 
the last fifty years, whether by students 
or statesmen, (the latter including even 
President Lincoln *), greatly exceeded 
the total actually reported for that year. 

Three nations only now have more 
than one hundred million inhabitants, 
Russia, India, and China. They are 
largely agricultural, and are composed of 
communities having limited and simple 
requirements. Industrial nations (which 
have more active and restless commu- 
nities) in general are small in area, and 
have relatively small populations, which 
are thus easily subject to control. 

The United States will soon join the 
three nations exceeding one hundred 
millions of inhabitants, but differs radi- 
cally from them, since manufacturing, 
mining, and other industries are steadily 
outstripping agriculture. Urban popula- 
1 " At the same ratios of increase which we 
have maintained, on an average, from our first 
national census of 1790 until that of 1860, we 
should in 1900 have a population of 103,208,- 
415 (in 1910, 138,918,526). And why may we 
not continue that ratio far beyond that period ? 
Our abundant room our broad natural home- 
stead is our ample resource. . . . Our 
country may be as populous as Europe now is 
at some point between 1920 and 1930 say 
about 1925, our territory, at 73g- persons to 
the square mile, being 1 of capacity to contain 
217,186,000." LINCOLN, Annual Message to 
Congress, 1862. 


The Diminishing Increase of Population 

tion is increasing four times as rapidly 
as that of the country districts (the in- 
crease in the former in 1900 was 36.8 
per cent, and in the latter but 9.5 per 
cent). These facts suggest a tendency 
toward instability, and become increas- 
ingly important as population assumes 
colossal proportions. It is not in govern- 
ment alone that the United States is an 

National considerations, however, are 
by no means the only ones involved in 
great population increase. There is a 
point at which the citizen must alter his 
mode of life. In densely populated coun- 
tries the liberty of the individual is neces- 
sarily restricted, and economy of agri- 
cultural and other resources becomes 
imperative. In the United States the im- 
provident habits contracted by the new- 
comers of a century ago still prevail. A 
population materially in excess of one 
hundred millions, living as wastefully as 
Americans now live, would soon con- 
front the necessity for federal and state 
regulation, the creation of many of the 
limitations which prevail in the more 
populous states of Europe. Preservation 
in any form, however, of soil or natural 
resources, is accomplished by restriction ; 
restriction means that large numbers of 
the more restless and eager will drift to 
newer lands. 

Population and Industrial Activity. 

Malthus, in his famous treatise upon 
principles of population, declared that 
the natural tendency toward increase is 
checked by inadequacy of means of sub- 
sistence; but in our time this statement 
should be modified; new industries, the 
development of mines and extension of 
commerce, directly or indirectly, furnish 
means of support for increasing numbers 
and seem to create a demand for human 
beings, causing what may be termed 
a population vacuum. 

The population of England and Wales, 
for example, in 1701, was 6,121,525; * in 
1751 the total number of inhabitants had 
1 British Census Report, 1863. 

increased but 214,315, or 3.5 per cent in 
fifty years. After the middle of the eight- 
eenth century, however, continuous in- 
crease occurred, amounting to three mil- 
lions in 1801, nine millions in 1851, and 
fourteen and a half millions in 1901. 
This change was coincident with the 
creation of British industry and trade. 

But if it be true that the quickening 
of industrial life has tended to increase 
population, the present stationary con- 
dition of population in parts of Europe, 
previously pointed out, and the dimin- 
ishing increase of population in the 
United States, suggest the possibility that 
what may be termed the drawing power 
of natural and industrial resources upon 
population has culminated. We are justi- 
fied at least in asking what influences 
upon increase of population, if any, are 
being exerted by the marvelous eco- 
nomic changes now in progress. 

The discovery and exploitation of the 
world's stored-up natural resources have 
made this age conspicuous among all 
ages. It might be said, indeed, that the 
human race is now living upon principal, 
whereas through all previous periods of 
history it existed upon income. Prior to 
1840, upon the sea all transportation was 
accomplished by utilizing the winds of 
heaven as motive power to drive ships to 
their desired harbors, and upon land by 
the use of beasts of burden. Within the 
short space of 67 years, less than the 
allotted lifetime of a man, transporta- 
tion on sea and land has been revolu- 
tionized ; the steamer and the locomotive 
are now supreme. In 1905 there were 
20,746 2 ocean-going steamships plying 
between the ports of the world, and near- 
ly 163,000 locomotives 3 in all lands and 
climes drawing innumerable freight and 
passenger cars. To propel these steamers 
against wind and current, approximately 
75,000,000 tons of coal are required annu- 
ally, while the locomotives of the world 
consume approximately 133,000,000 tons. 

2 Lloyd's Register, 1906. 

3 Interstate Commerce Commission, and by 

The Diminishing Increase of Population 


Thus during many thousand years the 
commerce and passenger traffic of the 
world were conducted without the ex- 
penditure of a pound of the natural re- 
sources of the earth, but in our time 
practically all transportation, although 
possessing capacity beyond the compre- 
hension of earlier generations, is secured 
by burning up annually more than 200,- 
000,000 tons of coal. 

Such staples as coal, iron, petroleum, 
copper, and gold, were left practically 
untouched by the successive generations 
of men who peopled the earth prior to 
the nineteenth century; but within fifty 
years the world-old attitude of the race 
toward these and other natural resources 
has been completely reversed. This brief 
period has witnessed a mighty attack 
upon most of the known deposits of 
metal and minerals. In order to increase 
the vigor of the onslaught which the civ- 
ilized nations have made upon natural re- 
sources stored up through countless ages, 
human strength has been supplemented 
by ingenious mining machinery. 

The world's coal product in 1850 was 
220,535 tons; in 1900, 846,041,848 tons; 
in 1905, 1,033,125,971 tons. English 
writers of half a century ago estimated 
the maximum annual production likely 
to be reached in the future from the 
British coal-fields at 100,000,000 tons. 
The actual product, however, in 1905 
was 235,000,000 tons. 

In the production of pig iron a similar 
striking increase has occurred. The 
world's product advanced from 1,585,000 
tons in 1830, to 54,054,783 tons in 1905. 
Petroleum, discovered in the United 
States in 1859, and aided later by ex- 
tensive wells in Russia, was produced 
to the amount of 3,296,162,482 gallons 
in 1890, but the product was increased 
to 9,004,723,854 gallons in 1905. Of 
copper, the product was 117,040,000 
pounds in 1850; but the mines of the 
world, spurred by the demand of elec- 
trical requirements, yielded 1,570,804,480 
pounds in 1905. Production of gold in- 
creased from $94,000,000 in 1850, to 
$376,289,200 in 1905. 







United States. 


United States. 



4.73 tons 

2.10 tons 

4.72 tons 

1.78 tons 2 

Petroleum 8 

16.6 gallons 

2.22 gallons 

7.2 gallons 

3.10 gallons 


0.27 tons 

0.12 tons 

0.20 tons 

GoET : : 

10.8 pounds 
1.06 dollars 

0.44 pounds 
0.06 dollars 

6.1 pounds 
0.99 dollars 

1.7 pounds 
0.66 dollars 2 

1 Population in 1905 or nearest year. 2 Principal countries. 

Refined illuminating oil. 

With the exception of the production 
of coal in Great Britain, mining in Euro- 
pean countries is not characterized by 
the feverish activity which attends such 
operations in the United States. Here, 
however, not only are the per capitas of 
production and home consumption very 
large, but it is evident that this nation is 
also supplying much of the European 
requirement. While gratifying as evi- 
dence of Nature's liberality to us, and 
also of American enterprise, is there no 

limit to the supply under such unpar- 
alleled demand? 

The production of coal, iron, petro- 
leum, copper, and gold in America prac- 
tically began at least so far as a 
modern commercial basis is concerned 
within the lifetime of many men now 
living. Coal production in the United 
States dates approximately from 1820. 
Eighty-five years later (in 1905) the pro- 
duct of American coal mines was 392,- 
000,000 tons annually, practically two- 


The Diminishing Increase of Population 

fifths of the coal production of the world. 
Advancing into the future from 1905 as 
far as that date is distant from 1820, 
we should reach 1990. In that year, ac- 
cording to the estimates which have 
been made by the leading student of coal 
production, the output of American coal 
mines would approximate 2,077,000,000 
tons each year. 1 

This age is preeminently a coal age; 
industry and commerce depend upon 
and follow coal supply. " In those locali- 
ties both in Europe and America where 
coal is found, it has completely changed 
the face of the country. It has created 
great hives of industry in previously 
uninhabited valleys and lonely plains, 
drawn the population from the agricult- 
ural districts into manufacturing centres; 
it has altogether modified the relative 
importance of cities, and has peopled 
colonies." 2 

Jevons, the English economist, dis- 
cussing in 1865 the relation of wealth and 
political power hi England to the coal 
supply, declared that the industrial pre- 
eminence of the English people was due 
to coal; that future development de- 
pended upon a continuance of cheap fuel 
supply ; but that it was not reasonable to 
expect indefinite commercial expansion 
at the then rate of progress. He predicted 
that well within a century from the date 
mentioned, a perceptible check in the 
rate of growth would be experienced and 
that the premonitory symptom would be 
a higher price for fuel. 3 This economic 
prophecy in some particulars is already 
being fulfilled. Not the least ominous 
fact is the decided increase in the price 
of British coal. It is stated that at the 
present rate of production the cream of 
the South Wales coal-fields will have been 
skimmed in another half-century. 

The United States is now the greatest 
coal-producing nation in the world. Even 
should the annual product attain to the 

1 E. W. Parker, U. S. Geological Survey. 

2 Thomas, Journal Royal Statistical Society, 
Ixi, 461. 

8 The Coal Question. London, 1865. 

enormous total predicted for the close of 
the century, the coal reserve would not 
be seriously impaired for many centuries 
to come. In fact, it is not likely ever to 
become completely exhausted. The crisis 
in the maintenance of national prosper- 
ity, however, does not await coal ex- 
haustion, but it must be expected when 
the slowly increasing difficulty and ex- 
pense of mining coal result in prices easily 
beaten by newer fields. The price, there- 
fore, of early extravagance in production, 
or in use, or both, is the ultimate crea- 
tion of irresistible industrial rivals. The 
United States is becoming more and 
more industrial, hence both prosperity 
and population constantly lean more 
heavily upon coal; the greater the annual 
output, the earlier may be expected the 
era of materially advancing prices. Even 
if it be conceded that such a result would 
not seriously impair the industrial effi- 
ciency of the United States, it must exert 
a direct influence upon population, be- 
cause decided increase in the cost of coal 
means increased cost of living and of 
production in all lines of industry. More- 
over, an increased proportion of labor 
and capital must be devoted to the ex- 
traction of coal, thereby diminishing the 
proportion of both available under more 
favorable conditions for other productive 

Old settlers and newcomers have re- 
veled in the fertility of virgin soil and 
seemingly unbounded space and re- 
sources. Waste has been rampant. If 
land ran out, the farmer made scant 
attempt to renew it, he merely moved 
on to the West or South. If the timber, 
coal, or iron supply of forest and mine 
was depleted, no thought of economy 
arose there were greater forests and 
richer mines elsewhere. Thus like a 
spendthrift heir, the inhabitants of the 
United States have dipped deep into the 
riches of their mighty inheritance, while 
from other lands millions of immigrants, 
glad to escape the restrictions of intensive 
forms of existence, have flocked to assist 
the American in exploiting his resources. 

The Diminishing > Increase of Population 


How long can these resources, though 
some of them are seemingly limitless, 
withstand this attack ? 1 

The present age is differentiated from 
all others principally by this exploitation 
of natural resources, and by its reflex 
influence upon men. Had this onslaught 
begun, with equal vigor, a few hundred 
years earlier, conditions in the present 
age would have differed so radically from 
what they actually are, that even specu- 
lation concerning our state in such a con- 
tingency is futile. 

Supremely serious are the questions 
which arise from consideration of the 
unprecedented advancement of our time : 
Has Nature no penalties in store for her 

1 Clearly no country has been so richly 
dowered by nature with mineral resources of 
all sorts. ... On the other hand we must ren- 
der tribute to the extraordinary rapidity with 
which these resources have been developed of 
late years. ... It is quite reasonable to pre- 
dict that the time will come when, pending 
the exploitation of the coal fields of China, all 
the world, with the exception of northern and 
northwestern Europe, which will almost cer- 
tainly remain customers of Great Britain, will 
look to the United States for its coal supply. 
... In production of iron ore the United 
States far outdistances all other countries, its 
output in 1902 being over thirty-five million 
tons. ... In 1880 it was only seven million 
tons. Comment upon the rapidity with which 
it has increased would be superfluous. . . . 
One is tempted to ask whether the ultra- inten- 
sive exploitation to which the iron mines are 
submitted will not soon exhaust the magnifi- 
cent deposits of the Lake Superior district 
. . . but the Americans, relying on the con- 
stant good-will of Nature, are confident that 
they will discover either new and product- 
ive ranges in this district or rich deposits in 
other districts. P. LEBOY-BEAULIEU, United 
States in the Twentieth Century, pp. 223 et seq. 

children who draw too liberally from her 
breast? Burning the fires of life so 
fiercely, shall they not burn out ? If, on 
the one hand, phenomenal population 
increase resulted from the quickening of 
industrial and commercial life in the 
civilized nations during the past century, 
due in the last analysis to natural re- 
sources, and on the other, instinct, 
manifested in a score of local forms, is 
now tending to restrict population while 
the momentum of national prosperity is 
apparently at its height, 2 may there not 
f be in operation some hitherto unexecuted 
law of nature, to prevent too great a drain 
upon the inheritance of future genera- 
tions ? 

Invention and discovery may be ex- 
pected to continue. It may well be that 
the men of the future will succeed in 
their time, as we have in ours, but the 
problems which arise are likely to be 
increasingly serious, as " the great world 
spins for ever down the ringing grooves 
of change." 

2 The fundamental law of population is, 
that population constantly tends to increase at 
a greater rate than the means of subsistence. 
Here we have the converse occurring over a 
period embracing nearly the life of a genera- 
tion. Is this apparent reversal of the general 
law due to the establishment of a higher stand- 
ard of existence by advancing civilization, or 
to prosperity having in some insidious manner 
sapped the reproductive powers of the nation ? 
Whatever be the cause, we have to face the 
fact that the rate of increase of the population 
is being maintained by the decrease in the 
death-rate, and notwithstanding such decrease, 
extending over the past twenty years, the ex=- 
cess of births over deaths per thousand has 
dropped from 14.90 to 11.58, or over twenty- 
two per cent. THOMAS, Journal Royal Sta- 
tistical Society, Ixi, 453. 



" BASEBALLING," writes Mr. Hashi- 
mura Togo, "is National Sport. Walk 
some distance to suburbs of trolley ,when, 
all of a suddenly, you will notice a sound. 
It is a very congregational lynch-law 
sound of numberous voices doing it all 
at once. Silence punctuates this. Then 
more of." 

Addressing himself to a policeman, 
Mr. Togo solicits enlightenment : " Why 
all this yell about, unless of mania ? " 

" Three men have got home," ex- 
plains the officer. 

" So happy to welcome travelers ! 
Have them gentlemans been long absent 
for such public banzai ? " 

Thus we perceive that Mr. Togo is as 
yet no " fan," or, instead of walking to 
" suburbs of trolley," he would have 
added himself to the burden of some an- 
cient and doddering electric car, which, 
languishing else in oblivion, is fetched 
forth to trundle " red-blooded " citizens 
toward yon blessed inclosure. A jocund 
air has that trolley. Though meriting the 
pathetic grandeur of the Grand Army 
of the Republic, it goes caroling, "As 
Young as I Used to Be." Yet the throng 
aboard, clinging fly-fashion, and jammed 
gayly man on man, breathes no prankish 
spirit. Theirs is a calm mood and a dig- 
nified. They are buttressing the nation 
by upholding the national game, and a 
certain stateliness is permitted to patriots. 

Mr. Togo, in his heathen blindness, 
may question the essential Americanism 
of baseball. Until recently the game 
originated in the English schoolboy sport 
of rounders. To abate that scandal, an 
cecumenical council of baseball hierarchs 
has defined the true faith. By order of 
the Special Commission, it shall have 
been " indigenous." Its American origin, 
then, resembles the infallibility of the 


Pope, which, as a Catholic savant once 
remarked to me, is " a dogma we un- 
fortunately have to believe." 

But, despite its alien lineage, the game 
has become as characteristically Amer- 
ican as bull-fighting is characteristical- 
ly Spanish, or pelote characteristically 
Basque, or heresy-hunting characteristic- 
ally Scotch. Not that our national sport 
stays pent within our traditional fron- 
tiers; it follows the flag, and westward, 
of course, the umpire takes his way. He 
is revered in Luzon, as is also the valiant 
batsman. Persons reluctant to canonize 
our Philippine policy should observe how 
five thousand natives will pour down 
upon the diamond to felicitate the au- 
thor of a three-bagger, and continue his 
apotheosis for a solid hour. Meanwhile, 
baseball has annexed Canada leaving 
only the sordid political details to be 
adjusted and captured Cuba. " No 
tiene descripcion el entusiasmo! " cries 
the Cuban press. " El publico en masa 
se desborda lienando el immense campo, 
dando Vivas ! Hurrahs ! " Yet it is in 
the United States especially that the 
game thrives and grows and keeps on 
growing, till now it cheerfully meets an 
annual cost of $5,500,000, supports more 
than thirty leagues, major and minor, 
sells its 25,000,000 tickets a year, and 
evolves a treasurer's report that reads 
like a mathematical psean. Already it 
stands among our notable industries. 
Erelong its capitalization will reach the 
figure of $20,000,000, the price we paid 
Spain for a second-hand war. 

This glittering phenomenon, so grate- 
ful to all who love their country, though 
to Mr. Togo a stumbling-block and to 
the trolley conductor foolishness, invites 
philosophy. How comes it about? Be- 
cause the " grandest of nations " must 

The National Game 


instinctively espouse " the grandest of 
games " ? Doubtless man might have 
made a better sport, but doubtless man 
never did. Man made cricket, enabling 
it to proceed with the languid tread of a 
Chinese tragedy, while from time to time 
some hot-head might arise and exclaim, 
"Played, sir! Played indeed!" Man 
made football, endowing it with benign 
carnage but giving it a season all too 
brief. Man made golf, wherein the rumi- 
native derive satisfaction from a com- 
parison of records. Man made tennis, a 
pleasant pastime, yet not for heroes. 
Man at his best and highest made base- 
ball, which gallops gloriously to its sub- 
lime culmination, holds a nation spell- 
bound from snow to snow, provides al- 
ways the clash of player against player, 
and calls for the combined exercise of 
muscle, brain, skill, and manly daring. 

Besides, it appeals sweetly to senti- 
ment. Every American has played base- 
ball in his boyhood, learning the ecstasy 
of triumph, the unforgetable anguish of 
defeat. Sings Mme. Calve: 

" Plaisir d' amour ne dure qu'un moment, 
Chagrin d'amour dure toute la vie." 

But she would be less confident of the 
supreme pathos of her theme had she 
been walloped, anciently, by the Cedar- 
villes, and slunk supperless to bed. 

The child is father of the " fan," and 
the middle-aged the aged, even re- 
new their youth while "rooting " on the 
bleachers. And yet in such reflections, 
however exhilarating, we find no ade- 
quate interpretation of the paramount- 
cy achieved by this vociferous amuse- 
ment. Though the game existed in the 
forties, it promised small delirium; it 
lacked, import; it was team against team, 
mere parochial imbroglios, and not 
an entire people struggling mightily all 
summer toward a golden bourn. Then 
arose that Moses of the diamond, " Fa- 
ther " Henry Chad wick, who began his 
career as law-giver a few years before the 
Civil War, which was a conflict deeply 
to be regretted, since it deflected the na- 
tional mind from the pursuit of the na- 

tional sport, and devoutly to be praised, 
since it preserved a nation wherein that 
sport might disport itself. 

After the war came Reconstruction, 
which gathered up the fragments of a 
shattered commonwealth, and set them 
upon the firm foundation of baseball. 
The country had now a purpose. Hence- 
forth it could develop into a nation of 
" rooters," the loudest and maddest on 
earth. For "Father" Chadwick had 
codified the rules, thus enabling New 
York to give battle to Philadelphia, Bos- 
ton to Detroit, Cleveland to St. Louis, 
while affording the mythopoetic faculty 
an opportunity not surpassed in our era. 
No Secretary of Baseball sits in the Pre- 
sident's cabinet; it is not by manhood 
suffrage that municipalities elect their 
ball-nines ; nor do the champions receive 
the pennant from the secretary's hand 
with a mediaeval accolade and gain duke- 
doms as rewards for high service; yet in 
the "fan's" thoughts it might almost be 
so, despite his knowledge that organ- 
ized baseball is a business a business 
controlled by a trust; that the " clubs " 
are stock-companies; that the players 
are rarely sons of the cities whose names 
they wear over their hearts ; and that the 
progressive series of shows has been 
adroitly devised to keep him dangling 
betwixt hope and despair throughout the 
season, and get his money. So it is no 
trivial, isolated, ineffectual fray that as- 
sembles yonder multitude this afternoon. 

As Pisa fought Venice and Venice 
fought Florence, so the town dearest to 
our pride is to take up arms against a 
loathed and hated rival ; only, in our case, 
consider how incomparably more grave 
the issue! Our city, if victorious, will ad- 
vance one stage further toward the cham- 
pionship of its league. If it wins that 
championship, it will meet the champions 
of the other major league, and battle for 
the championship of the world. If tri- 
umphant then, it will reign in a moral 
splendor surpassing the sublimity of 
Nineveh, Carthage, or Imperial Rome, 
until perish the thought ! the arbit- 


The National Game 

rament of next year's campaign snatches 
the sceptre from its grasp. In the light 
of so much glory, one grieves to recall 
how misguided warriors fought and bled 
on Italian soil for a mere petty, back- 
yard sovereignty, little worth the fuss, 
and one sighs for a greater Dante to sing 
this grander warfare. Still, there is song 
in the souls of " fans." Said Emerson: 
" The people fancy they hate poetry, and 
they are all poets and mystics." 

Arriving at the gates of glee gates 
piercing an otherwise impervious board- 
fence, cruelly devoid of those cracks and 
knot-holes which afford solace to impe- 
cunious urchinhood our bards under- 
go a self-imposed classification. The 
frivolous, the detached, the shallow 
fabricators of " society verse," let us 
say purchase tickets for the grand- 
stand ; those a shade or two less artificial 
prefer the fifty-cent bleachers; but the 
true runic singers, they of the flaming i 
heart and awesome howl, humble them- 
selves to be bleached for a quarter. 

Though "Casey at the Bat" has been 
attributed to all known poets from Ho- 
mer to Theodosia Garrison, and though 
its authorship is claimed by a wool 
merchant named Thayer, it is clear that 
the ballad reached his pen by a process 
of metempsychosis, having enjoyed a 
previous existence in the brain of some 
twenty-five-cent " rooter." Accordingly, 
we shall find the uncrowned laureates of 
baseball among its lowliest devotees. 
While Mr. Reginald Van Brunt will yell 
with a fervor conscious of its absurdity 
and relish this release from convention, 
Mr. Micky O'Hooligan will yell with 
impassioned earnestness. Between these 
gentlemen, however similar their vocal 
outbursts, you note the same difference 
as between the carnival Indian and the 
wild Comanche. Mr. Van Brunt harbors 
a suspicion that the national game is per- 
haps a trifle less important than the na- 
tional destiny. Not so the honest Micky. 

Him let us follow. Through the joyous 
portals, then, with care to retain our rain- 
checks. In these read the first intimation 

of contrast between professional base- 
ball and its collegiate compeer. The 
powers of the air might spoil a college 
game and cheat the spectators. Here, if 
the heavens drip before the middle of 
the fifth inning, we may go in free at 
some subsequent game. Thus the man- 
agement emboldens the over-weather- 
wise, who, when clouds look ominous, 
may perchance obtain more baseball, 
instead of less, for their money. Inside 
the gate, contrasts not less pronounced. 
Instead of the modest grandstand, a 
huge, many-canopied pavilion, over 
which float ensigns inscribed with the 
name of our city and that of the despic- 
able municipality for whose destruction 
we yearn. Instead of the strings of car- 
riages, those vast, austere tribunes, the 
bleachers. Instead of multitudinous gay 
hats and gowns, only an occasional dash 
of color, and that only in the grandstand. 
Instead of the pennant of our Alma 
Mater, the nation's flag, fluttering a bit 
sadly, as if conscious of its subservience 
to business. Instead of a distant pro- 
spect of academic spires and cupolas be- 
yond the meadows, a background com- 
posed of bill-boards, where advertise- 
ments of whiskey, beer, and heinous 
cigars almost crowd out the score-board, 
while above them loom the chimneys of 
factories. Everywhere an atmosphere 
bespeaking capitalized enterprise, specu- 
lation, commercialism. Upon the ear fall 
raucous cries : " Hot roasted peanuts, 
five a bag," " Ice-cold moxie," " Fresh 
pop-corn " uttered by savage brats in 
white coats and white caps. Ministering 
angels actually, these young persons wear 
an expression of cruelty, having caught 
thus early the aggressive spirit of the 

On the bleachers, however, there is 
much the same talk as among collegians, 
though mouthed less gently, and abso- 
lutely the same belief in the cosmic im- 
portance of sport. Have not vanquished 
football braves been known to weep? 
Once, when a victorious eleven were 
shedding their moleskins amid profane 

The National Game 


exultings, their trainer burst into the 
dressing-room, lifted a reverent hand, and 
cried, " Silence, boys! Now everybody 
sing, * Praise God from whom all bless- 
ings flow! ' " which they did, in per- 
fect solemnity. When such excesses occur 
among seekers after wisdom, why scorn 
poor Micky for calling baseball the most 
serious occupation of a serious people? 
His microcosmos refuses admittance to 
larger interests. The players now at prac- 
tice down below they are lions, heroes, 
sublime demigods, in Micky's eyes. Pity 
him, then, for his failure to identify them ; 
" beneath the cupola," Paris is equally 
at a loss to identify its Forty Immortals; 
as Monsieur le Ministre appeals to 
Madame la Marechale, so Micky ap- 
peals to 'Rastus Jones, and 'Rastus to a 
truckman, who in turn invites elucida- 
tion from a freckled office-boy. There 
are loud assertions, louder contradictions, 
as is scarcely surprising, so extraordinary 
is the family resemblance that pervades 
the profession. Always the lithe, nimble 
figure; always the shaven face; always 
the bold nose and assertive chin. Later, 
when the game is on, we shall know the 
artists by reference to the score-card. 

For artists they are sensitive as 
violinists, " temperamental " as paint- 
ers, emotional as divas. A little detrac- 
tion will " get their goat," a little adula- 
tion prepare them to walk upon pink 
clouds. As the Presbyterian said of the 
Methodists, they are " up attic or down 
cellar all the while." They cherish their 
dignity, riding only in Pullmans, sleeping 
only in the hotel's most luxurious apart- 
ments. They exact from their manager 
a consideration as delicate as that dis- 
played toward his mariners by the gallant 
captain of the Pinafore. They demand 
dazzling emoluments; Corot died rich, 
Paderewski carries home a fortune every 
year, yet how insignificant their services 
to humanity compared with those of a 
baseball player! Meanwhile the frater- 
nity resents imputations of mere com- 
mercialism. Speak not of " Hessians." 
If you insist upon a military allusion, call 

them Swiss, to whom may one day be 
carven a Lion of Lucerne. 

Happy is their lot, since their crafts- 
manship, unlike that of other artists, wins 
the most exuberant admiration from 
those that comprehend it least. Hence 
their rank as popular idols. The physio- 
logical psychologist, who can hardly be 
said to abound, admires the precision 
with which the muscular sense judges the 
whereabouts of a moving object by the 
tug of tiny muscles as the eyes converge 
upon it; he admires the accuracy with 
which the muscles of eye and arm adjudi- 
cate and direct the effort required to hurl 
a missile to its goal after the muscles 
around and inside the eye have deter- 
mined the range; he knows that in that 
solemnest of ball-games, an artillery en- 
gagement, ranges must be found mechan- 
ically. There, with some incidental en- 
thusiasm over the diligence expended in 
training the muscular sense to such 
superb efficiency, his admiration ends. 
To Micky, however, the skill of a star 
ball-player savors less of the magnifi- 
cently natural than of the out-and-out 
miraculous. And our world consists 
mainly of Mickys. Ages ago, when it 
contained no other folk, such wonder- 
working would have qualified the " wiz- 
ard " to teach spiritual truth. In our 
own day, it has enabled a baseball hero 
to become a popular evangelist. 

But see, the game is about to begin! 
Quick, your score-card ! At last it is set- 
tled that Murphy, not O'Toole, is to 
pitch, O'Toole having doubtless a tem- 
porary " glass arm; " also that Kelley, 
though spiked a week ago by a furious 
base-runner, is again to mount guard 
over yonder hypertrophied pincushion; 
who's who, we now know, so far as con- 
cerns " our boys," and as for the enemy, 
seated in a cross-legged, red-legged row 
on the bench, the score-card will make 
them out for us as obligingly as the pro- 
gramme that names the actors "in the 
order of their first appearance on the 
stage." All is clear, save perhaps to 
some wretched Togo. 


The National Game 

Billiards the Japanese intellect can 
fathom : " two sticks, three balls, two 
men. One says ' Damn! ' The other 
says, 'Hard lines!'" But baseball is 
more intricate. It is billiards in three 
dimensions (and a fourth, sometimes, 
namely the umpire), with an uneven field 
for a table, the ball shot through air and 
deflected by wind, and the play executed 
with chain-lightning rapidity, while al- 
ways nine men are pitted against one. 
So you will bear with Mr. Togo if his 
account errs through excess of impres- 
sionism. Says he, " One strong-arm gen- 
tleman called a Pitch is hired to throw. 
Another gentleman called a Stop is re- 
sponsible for whatever that Hon. Pitch 
throw to him, so he protect himself from 
wounding by sofa-pillows which he wear 
on hands. Another gentleman called a 
Striker stand in front of that Stop and 
hold up club to fright off that Hon. Pitch 
from angry rage of throwing things. Hon. 
Pitch in hand hold one baseball of an 
unripe condition of hardness. He raise 
that arm lofty then twist O sud- 
den! ! He shoot them bullet-ball straight 
to breast of Hon. Stop. Hon. Striker 
swing club for vain effort. It is a miss and 
them deathly ball shoot Hon. Stop in 
gloves. 'Struck once! ' decry Hon. Um- 
peror, a person who is there to gossip 
about it in loud voice." 

Despite traces of inaccuracy, we have 
here a transcription from reality. Such 
titanic efforts, such lifting of huge hopes, 
such scant fruition! They hurl the ball, 
but not canonically. They hurl the ball 
canonically, but the batsman cowers. 
They hurl the ball canonically, and the 
batsman smites it, but erroneously. They 
hurl the ball canonically, the batsman 
smites it righteously, and then some fel- 
low catches it. This process, varied with 
the scampering of certain gentlemen in 
haste, who at best reach only the point 
they started from, continues through 
nine innings, while the majority of the 
eighteen demigods stand beside bags or 
guard distant outposts, chewing, chew- 
ing, or sit all a-row and drink water out 

of a pail. Upon what boresome doings, 
then, hangs the destiny of our cities! 
How justly has Mr. Steffens celebrated 
their shame! 

To the " fan," this very uneventfulness 
is in itself an event. One recalls the ardor 
of the shopkeeper in a college town, who 
had feared that a football defeat might 
impoverish the gamesters who owed him 
money; hearing that it had yielded a 
score of nothing to nothing, he cried, 
"Blessed be nothing!" So here. The 
red-blooded look not kindly upon the 
" hippodrome " and the " batfest." They 
desire that skill shall match skill in " an 
even break." What the performance 
lacks of melodrama it makes up in show 
of technique, so that, as Mr. Togo 
phrases it," all America persons is settled 
in state of very hoarse condition." Nor 
can even he suppress a spasm of admira- 
tion for that central luminary, the twirl- 
er. " Hon. Pitch prepare to enjoy some 
deathly agony. He hold that ball outside 
of twisted arm, turn one half beside him- 
self, throw elbows away, give whirling 
salute of head, caress ankle with calf of 
leg, then up-air quickly shoot!! " 

Mr. O'Hooligan, steeped in the lore of 
the " spitball," the drop curve, the high 
in-ball, the out-curve, and the " fade- 
away," and aware that the finger-tips, 
as the " pill " leaves the hand, endow it 
with its rotary genius, pays this wizard 
the homage of a somewhat more enlight- 
ened reverence. He will speak of the 
" cushion of air " that produces the 
curve, yet gilds his science with gleams 
of the supernatural. Those enchanted 
missiles lo ! trailing clouds of glory do 
they come! And the twirler what 
charmer of political conventions, ser- 
pents, or railroad stocks commands a 
higher magic ? Behold, for instance, the 
necromantic spitball, how it drops from 
the batter's hips to his knees in two feet 
of forward motion, or "floats up like a 
chunk of lead till it gets close to the 
swatting station and then ducks around 
the corner like a subpoena-dodger! " 
The mere expectation of a spitball un- 

The National Game 


nerves the doughtiest " sons of swat! " 
Physicist, though mystic, Mr. O'Hool- 
igan dabbles also in psychology. To him 
and to us, for that matter the pitcher 
is a " deep thinker," fathoming the bats- 
man's heart, discerning his aversions, 
and uprooting his courage by proffering 
what he most detests at the least grate- 
ful juncture. To "deep thinking" our 
twirler adds moral hardihood. It takes 
character to face a whole dynasty of 
cudgel-kings, one after another, and not 
" go up in the air," especially when bayed 
at the while by a maniacal public. 

Likewise it takes character to bat; for 
the batter views eight allied foes, one of 
whom prepares to slay him with a look, 
if not with the " pellet." I recall a portly 
batsman whose person protruded in a 
sort of oriel; though slow of foot, he 
possessed a talent for knocking phenom- 
enally evasive flies. Knowing this, the 
pitcher smote him with the ball in the 
region of the watch-chain, and, when 
rather severely criticised by his victim, 
'remarked, "Perfectly fair ball! Right 
over the plate! " Just so; but after that 
this batsman could never face its author 
with any pleasure. Invariably he "fanned 
out." And even the slim run some risk. 
Nevertheless, such is their devotion to 
country that, when necessity requires, 
they will defy the rule that forbids self- 
martyrdom, and deliberately offer their 
bodies to be hit. Sometimes I wonder if 
it hurts. I have seen a batter receive a 
resounding crack on the funny bone, and 
make for first base with a radiant counte- 
nance, limping jocosely all the way. In- 
deed, one is tempted, while surveying the 
moral pinnacle attained by cudgelers, to 
forget those equally lofty artistic sum- 
mits which loom less splendid because 
more remote. Not only must the ash 
meet the horsehide, however fantastic 
its course; the clash must be so timid, 
ideally, that the ball will come down in 
precisely the spot intended an un- 
guarded region of the " front yard," let 
us say or perchance some defenseless 
section of " left garden." Wielding what 
VOL. 102 -NO. 2 

the violinist calls a perfect instrument, 
the man with the round club must juggle 
with angles of incidence and reflection, 
complicated by the manifold eccentrici- 
ties of an inspired gyroscope, and in- 
stantly determine what speed to give his 
bat as it describes with its tip the arc of a 
circle, since the hundredth part of a sec- 
ond, whether too soon or too late, will 
vitiate the entire calculation. Saw you 
ever a task that called louder for " all that 
a man has of fortitude and delicacy ? " 

Time what a factor in battles ! One 
hates to descend to the trivial, but it was 
time that decided Waterloo, and here 
every infinitesimal moment is treasured, 
as befits the gravity of the issue. Fans 
understand this, and bear it in mind 
when appraising the performance. They 
know why the management has selected 
a " south-paw" to man first base; the 
left-handed player has the advantage of 
being already in a position to throw to 
second when the ball comes to him from 
the catcher. They know why base-run- 
ners should slide feet first. Says Mr. 
Togo, ** All spectacles in grandstand de- 
cry 'O make sliding, Hon. Sir!'" and 
" Hon. Striker is sliding to base by the 
seat of his stummick." Bad policy, think 
the fans. Not only do basemen cherish a 
distaste for spiked shoes and a fluttering 
of the heart on their approach sole out, 
so that the feet-first onslaught will meet 
the milder discouragement; the main 
point is to arrive ready to pick yourself 
up in an instant and resume your career. 
Games are lost and won in fractions of a 

It is time, again, that determines the 
brilliancy of fielding. When the ball 
whizzes just above the ground, and a 
man runs in for it and takes it at his shoe- 
lacings, Micky's whole soul rises up to 
bless him. When the ball soars across 
the blue, and the " gardener " turns his 
back on it, darts into the remote distance, 
and wiles it from over his shoulder into 
his mitt, Micky relights his pipe. Why 
this frantic approval of a feat by no 
means showy, this indifference to a feat 

The National Game 

amazingly spectacular? Because time, 
by its brevity, glorified the one, whereas 
time, by its prolixity, cheapened the 
other. Only instantaneous perception 
and judgment and action can stop the 
white-hot liner. The very sensationalism 
of the arching path that a long fly follows 
will afford time to decide where the ball 
must alight, time to transfer one's activi- 
ties to the appointed spot, time compos- 
edly to welcome in that fly with gently 
smiling jaws. As well solicit applause for 
keeping a tryst with an express train ! 

Thus it appears that Mr. O'Hooligan 
appreciates, equally with alacrity of body, 
alacrity of mind. He would redouble his 
enthusiasm could he hear astronomers 
discourse of the " personal equation," 
how it qualifies an observer to note with 
greater or lesser precision the moment 
when the star crosses the hair-line and 
to press with greater or lesser prompti- 
tude the instrument that records its tran- 
sit. Eminence as a baseball-player pre- 
supposes a personal equation any astron- 
omer might envy, and this endowment 
accounts for the profusion of Kelleys and 
Caseys, of O's and Mac's on the nation's 
diamond. The nimble- witted, the quick- 
tempered, the recklessly daring in a 
word, a race given to bulls, half-bricks, 
and brilliancy on the firing-line possess 
the required rapidity of perception and 
intellection, the required rapidity of nerv- 
ous reactions. Women, but for those 
limitations to which humorists attribute 
the survival of the hen, should play 
astounding baseball ; as regards the per- 
sonal equation, every woman is an Irish- 

Nowhere a keener demand for such 
celerity than behind the bat, where the 
catcher acts as a collector and conserva- 
tor of twisted thunderbolts and as steers- 
man of the sloop of destiny. Alone able 
to scan the whole battle, he must shape 
its strategy in moments of peril. Yet 
while there exists a code of signals be- 
tween pitcher and catcher, and while ex- 
traneous counsel from coachers mitigates 
the consternation with which men on 

bases are so richly furnished, still further 
hints and persuasions proceed from the 
manager. He signs in esoteric symbols, 
unknown to the foe, though legible to his 
vassals, so that he who reads may run. 
Sometimes, to ward off suspicion, he de- 
putes the " signing " to a henchman, but 
there's risk in that. Once Sweeney, bid- 
den to slide when Lauterbach crossed his 
feet, beheld the sign and slid, thereby 
losing the game; Lauterbach, crazed with 
excitement, had crossed his feet uncon- 
sciously. The manager could neverthe- 
less rejoice in the perfection of his disci- 
pline, as when, on another occasion, Bad 
Bill rejoined his comrades at breakfast, 
saw the horrified manager stroke his 
beard, and instantly dived under the 
table. As a posse of waiters were ejecting 
him, Bill expostulated, " What yous put- 
tin' me out fer ? Did n't me manager 
sign to slide ? " His not to reason why, 
his but to do and die. 

Now Micky, despite his knowledge of 
wireless communications, boards of strat- 
egy, and the team-play that alone cap- 
tures pennants, proffers advice of his 
own, instructing the players, even the 
manager; and hereby hangs psychology. 
A lordly egotist is Micky. He looms vast 
within his personal universe because that 
universe is itself so small. Besides, he is 
a part of all that he sees. He assists the 
progress of a blood-and-thunder play 
with cries of " Sick 'em! " and " Cheese 
it! " On the bleachers he not only com- 
ments aloud upon every incident, gasp- 
ing, " He's out! " or " He's safe; " he 
relieves a burning heart by howling, 
" Come on, Pat! " or " Slide, Kelley 
slide! " It is not in the initial stages of 
civilization that humanity acquires the 
art of thinking with its mouth shut. 
Meanwhile, his shrewdness enables him 
to admire a player for disregarding his 
suggestions. When the man on third, 
whose whole soul is chanting " Home, 
Dearie, Home," displays a masterly in- 
activity, all fans approve with their in- 
tellects, while demurring with their emo- 

The National Game 


Conscious of a power within himself 
making for victory, since his yearnings 
readily translate themselves into voli- 
tions, Micky regards his whoops and 
yells as by no means impotent. Nor are 
they always. At a crisis, " Hi! Hi! Hi! " 
may unnerve a batsman or " rattle " the 
most stoical of pitchers. The " rooting " 
of his allies, on the other hand, may calm 
the quiverings of a distraught spirit and 
convince a player that the stars in their 
courses are fighting for him. All the 
which goes to show that Mr. O'Hooligan 
has still very much to learn concerning 
the ethics of sport; yes, and concerning 
its aesthetics. Both on moral and artistic 
grounds, good sportsmen denounced the 
college glee club that serenaded a visiting 
ball-nine throughout the night preceding 
a game. On similar grounds, they con- 
demned the half-back who entered into 
his closet and prayed for victory. It is 
the theory of clean sport that its partici- 
pants should conduct their manoeuvres 
without interference, earthly or celestial, 
malignant or beneficent. Consequently 
the higher priesthood of baseball have set 
their faces sternly against " rooting " and 
hope to do it away. 

Already they have at least partially 
extinguished a more crying abuse. Writes 
Hashimura Togo, " Occasionally that 
large German intelligence what set next 
to me would say with voice, * Kill that 
umperor ! ' I wait for very large hour to 
see death of this Hon. Umperor, but it 
did not occur as I seen. Too bad ! I had 
very good seat to see from ! " To umpire 
is human, to forgive divine ; and fans are 
progressing, however slowly, toward that 
commendable altitude of morality. In- 
stead of tying tin-cans to his coat-tails, 
chasing him up trees, bedecking him with 
tar and feathers, or forcing him to seek 
asylum in the town jail, they now harry 
this martyr with rhetoric accusations 
of perjury, piracy, and grand larceny, for 
the most part, with now and then a pro- 
mise of annihilation. Gradually they 
have come to understand his modest plea 
for tolerance. 

" The umpire may make mistakes as 
well as any other mortal," says the re- 
nowned Sheridan, " and if he does, it 
does n't follow that he should hang for 
it. Here are people seated in a semi- 
circle around the grounds. On almost 
every play some of them will be bet- 
ter witnesses than he, yet they imagine 
he ought to see it exactly as they do; 
and if he does n't, what a chorus of 
yells and howls! " Good lack, you would 
say so! "Robber!" bawl the fans. 
" Liar ! Thief ! Kill him ! " till the up- 
roar " has feeding time at the zoo faded 
to a whisper." And remember, the um- 
pire is the most sensitive of all the beasts 
of the field. Hence the humiliation with 
which patriots reflect that this compara- 
tive immunity results less from a soften- 
ing of the heart on the part of fans than 
from a drastic severity on the manage- 
ment's part toward the players. For the 
bleachers take their cues from the dia- 
mond, and heavy fines have taught play- 
ers to beware how they unchain the 
passions of the mob. Left to themselves, 
our fans bestow upon their salaried arbi- 
ter only such abuse as authors, if they 
had the pluck, would extend to his pro- 
totype, the editor. 

Happily, you may attribute this vocal 
umpire-baiting in some measure to mere 
love of din. To many, his crime is the 
occasion, rather than the cause, of pande- 
monium. Not so those thrilling incidents 
that elicit the wild and terrible " E-e-e-e- 
yah," the long drawn " h'ra-a-a-ay," the 
ear-splitting " Hoo-oo-oo-wow ! " "More 
yells of shouts in head," cries Hashimura. 
" I am an enthusiasm. Such sound of 
hates! Port Arthur was took with less 
noise! " Considering the yelps, roars, and 
growls in which our four-footed ancestors 
expressed themselves, such reversion to 
type need hardly perplex us. The mar- 
vel is not that the bleachers lie so near the 
jungle, but that they are separated from 
it by so vast an interval. The whooping 
and bawling reflect intelligence, intelli- 
gence finer and higher than we are wont 
to believe the proletarians possessed of. 


The National Game 

How comes it that they command suf- 
ficient range of consciousness to grasp 
simultaneously all the phases of a daz- 
zling play or the nimbleness to foresee all 
its consequences ? May we not conject- 
ure that Micky sees one facet of great- 
ness, 'Rastus another, the office-boy a 
third ; that each acclaims what he himself 
comprehends; and that, by a felicitous 
contagion, the excitement of each re- 
doubles the excitement of the rest? A 
false hypothesis. For the game is not 
particularly complicated, as games go; 
it is quick so quick that successive 
impressions make a palimpsest of the 
untutored mind (the mind of the phi- 
losopher, let us say, to whom a ball-game 
is a rare indulgence), whereas no palimp- 
sest is inscribed upon Mr. O'Hooligan. 
Having played baseball, watched base- 
ball, talked baseball, read baseball, 
dreamed baseball, and devoted little earn- 
est cogitation to anything but baseball 
ever since he was able to lift a bat, he 
takes in each new move as swiftly as it 
occurs, and knows by lifelong experience 
what it portends. I once passed an even- 
ing at a resort peopled exclusively by 
" greatest living authorities." Were they 
brilliant, these masters of infinitesimal 
specialties ? They were dull. The same 
process that makes Micky O'Hooligan 
an adept in baseball had made them 
retentive reservoirs of erudition. Micky, 
had he devoted equal assiduity to myco- 
logy, the evolution of the aorist, or the 
histology of the potato-bug, might have 
won honorary degrees, I doubt not, and 
a paragraph in ** Who's Who." 

Spare the sigh ! This scholar craves no 
laurels. Born a democrat, he adores the 
simplicity of " rooters' row." Not even 
in the smoking-car, where hod-carriers 
hold converse with bankers, does demo- 
cracy blossom more superbly. Here to 
every fellow it is permitted to exhibit 
frightful suspenders, smoke infamous 
cigars, wield a palm-leaf fan, swear hor- 
ribly, advance the most unpleasant opin- 
ions, and punch the heads of malefactors 
that is, those who intercept their 

neighbors' peanuts, as the boy tosses up 
the bag from down below, and those 
who wantonly stand while the congrega- 
tion is seated. Fortunately, the congrega- 
tion boasts a sheeplike suggestibility ; in 
general, when one stands, the rest stand 
also; otherwise nothing short of legisla- 
tion analogous to that against the theatre 
hat could defend the bleacherites against 
mutual annihilation. 

Thus we follow the game in quite 
tolerable misery. Hot? It was never so 
hot. Pitilessly the sun beats down from 
a sky broken only by the fleecy white 
clouds that the players call "angels," be- 
cause they afford so benevolent a back- 
ground for the batted ball. Though sun- 
stroke seems inevitable, inning succeeds 
inning, with nine men walking away 
slowly, nine others coming up on the run, 
till the ultimate inning is now nearly 
completed. Jubilant moments there have 
been jubilant moments and moments 
glum; awful suspense, too, and at this 
the eleventh hour the score stands three 
to two against us. Amid terrific cheers, 
great Murphy strikes an attitude as of 
the Colossus of Rhodes, fire in his eye, 
desperate determination in his heart. His 
cudgel menaces the pitcher. Two men 
on bases dance nervously sidewise, 
ablaze with excitement. There are cries 
from the coachers, mingling oddly with 
"Ice-cold moxie!" and "Fresh popcorn, 
five a bag!" The pitcher holds the ball 
meditatively beneath his chin and glares 
defiance. He coils himself up "like a 
dissolute bed-spring," lets loose, and 
then oh, mad instant ! The ring of a 
bat, flying forms that fling themselves 
feet-first along the ground in clouds of 
dust, other forms with heads thrown back 
and faces upturned, one horror-stricken 
figure moving across the far, far back- 
ground, his posture that of anguish hop- 
ing against hope and victory is ours ! 
We howl. 

Then a metamorphosis. Patriots be- 
come mere sordid seekers after slabs of 
striped ice-cream, to be purchased out 
of carts beyond the gates. At first, one 

The National Game 


would rebuke those carts; they seem a 
profanation. Then comes a saner under- 
standing, which crowns them with all the 
honor due to the Red Cross. And their 
patrons well, is not the triumph won, 
our city's star again in a bright ascend- 
ant, the moral order of the universe 
again vindicated? To die now, with 
striped ice-cream within reach why 
indulge in such ex post facto fanaticism ? 
Besides, the nation itself boasts as its 
chief aim the well-being of its citizens. 
Without citizens, what would become of 
the nation, and of its noblest product, 
the national game? 

It now remains to see what the press 
will say. What, forsooth, can it say? 
That our team has " lashed another 
victim to its victorious chariot"? That 
our boys " look good for the rag " ? 
Precisely. But the journalistic passion 
for truth will not long content itself with 
such inadequate phrasing. Presently we 
shall read how men died on bases; how 
batsmen took bites out of the pea; how 
Stivetts blew up in a jiffy, because 
Schreck had his kidding clothes on ; how 
Sharky poked a bingle; how Murphy 
and McCabe were wedded to bags ; how 
Schults was buffaloed by Killian and 
popped to Coughlin; and how Pfeister 
tried his hoodoo snake on Crawford and 
had the hard hitter tied in a knot. This 
is something like, and we live the battle 
over again, though the unrighteous affect 
perplexity. Nonsense! How, save by a 
.gorgeous symbolism, shall language body 
forth these jumping wonders ? How, save 
by employing a special argot, shall even 
symbolism do them justice? As men 
invent vocables wherewith to adorn a 
ballad or to give splendor to a legend, or 
to establish communication with a baby, 
so men shape a new and marvelous 
verbiage for baseball. Thus only can the 
heart's deepest emotion find a voice. 
What if we call the adored ball a "pill," 
a "pellet," and a "globule;" what if we 
speak of the home plate as the "pan" ? 
Browning addressed Mrs. Browning as 
"dear Ba." Besides, remember that base- 

ball reports must be penned while the 
game rages and that they cannot but re- 
flect the noble frenzies of their authors. 
Yet think not to-day's game dies 
with to-day's "extras." In two baseball 
weeklies it will reecho; perhaps also in 
the Baseball Magazine ; certainly in that 
sacred history or fan's bible, Spalding's 
Guide ; and fans there are who will talk 
of it years hence, to the joy of men folks, 
the despair of women folks. For heavy 
is the burden laid upon the gentler sex 
by our national game. To the maid, it 
means being dragged by some amiable 
though misguided cavalier through what 
should have been the " time of your life, 
Nellie," and was boresome beyond words ; 
to the wife, it means a husband tied to 
the Sporting Page silent or cryptic- 
ally ebullient; and, as old age arrives, 
and the third generation of fans vibrates 
between the sand-lots and the bleachers, 
it means mortal peril : 

" Lives there a man with soul so dead 
But he unto himself has said, 

' My grandmother shall die to-day 
And I '11 go see the Giants play ? ' " 

Mr. John T. McCutcheon fixes the 
average daily baseball mortality among 
grandmothers at seven thousand. 

To the bleacherite, however, it means 
fullness of life not sport merely, but 
learning, hero-worship, moral uplift, and 
a wellspring of national consciousness. 
He amasses an erudition worthy the Five 
Academies. What biologist speaks more 
confidently of Tigers, Cubs, Bisons, 
Doves, and Orioles? What ethnologist 
more knowingly of Colonels, Pirates, 
Red Sox, Quakers, and Cardinals ? Was 
ever manipulator of logarithms and the 
calculus more ready than the fans with 
averages and percentages ? And there are 
pretentious enough climatologists who 
can't explain why the pennant shuns 
seaboard cities; there are specialists in 
folk-lore who remain uninformed touch- 
ing the baleful phenomena that must en- 
sue if a cat walks across the diamond; 
there are historians think of it ! 
who have never traced the evolution 


The National Game 

of the ball from the "Bounding Rock" 
(well named) to its latest inspired suc- 
cessor; and who to save their necks can't 
tell who was purchased when, or at what 
price, or in which of the major, bush or 
outlaw leagues; or that it was Arthur 
Cummings, and not the Discobolus, who 
accidentally invented the curve. 

Worse, there are historians who, though 
learned in the chronology of antiquity, 
attach no importance to the most signi- 
ficant dates our world has experienced 
1845, when the first baseball club was 
founded; 1859, when the Excelsiors and 
the Atlantics undertook a missionary 
tour of England, vainly hoping to con- 
vert the benighted and hard-hearted 
islanders; and 1876, when patriots or- 
ganized the National League. But for 
one's reluctance further to humiliate our 
chroniclers, one might add still other 
dates, all of which have been mastered 
by the fan. Happily, they are modern, 
very modern, these dates, and therefore 
comparatively few. They leave the base- 
ball sage somewhat in the position of 
those medieval schoolmen to whom, 
since little had occurred or been found 
out before their day, encyclopaedic sap- 
iency was not impossible. Nor is a 
Micky O'Hooligan less proud in his wis- 
dom than a Duns Scotus. To know all 
about something, to know that he knows 
it, and to know that all other informa- 
tion is sheer froth and vanity what a 
solace to the ignoramus! 

And in Micky's idolatrous reverence 
for the players there is solace for his well- 
wishers. Note the Greek symmetry of 
those athletes' development, as com- 
pared with the "strong man's" muscle- 
bound exaggerations. Observe the clear- 
ness of their minds, their quickness, 
their level-headedness under affliction. 
Consider their moral qualities their 
grit, their self-control, their abstemious- 
ness (at least during the season), their 
readiness to sacrifice individual glory for 
the glory of the team, and especially the 
asceticism with which, to conserve their 
eyesight, they forswear the luxury of 

night-time study! Then ask yourself if, 
on the whole, Micky being Micky 
could bestow his admiration on a type 
likelier to influence him favorably. 

For encomiums upon the influences of 
the game itself, consult its now quite 
voluminous literature. There you will 
find it belauded for that virtue which is 
next to godliness. Gambling pollutes the 
turf and the prize-ring; save in sporadic 
and insignificant cases of individual bet- 
ting, it never pollutes the diamond. It 
can't. Organized gambling, as at the 
race-track and around the roped arena, 
presupposes certainties, not chances; a 
jockey or a pugilist is "fixed." But how 
are you going to fix eighteen men at once, 
to say nothing of managers and umpires ? 
Indeed, it is the very certainty that no 
such roguery can be practiced that makes 
a ball game so popular. Mr. O'Hooligan 
is convinced that every player is doing 
his best, for ever so little listlessness may 
exchange the St. Cloud of the diamond 
for the St. Helena of a cigar store, and 
your baseball Napoleon "would hate 
awfully to have to go to work." I quote 
a famous player. Let me also quote, in 
order to exhibit the ethical perfections 
that prevail throughout this sport, the 
remarks of one of its chief sages concern- 
ing the purity of its judiciary. "Woe be- 
tide the player who falls from grace!" 
writes that charming philosopher. "Base- 
ball law has Federal law chased clear 
under the table when it comes to dealing 
out justice, and no skinny shrimp of a 
lawyer can protect a crook by objecting 
to evidence because it is against the letter 
of the law and contrary to precedent. 
When they find a crook in baseball, they 
chase him out so blamed fast his feet get 
hot hitting the grit!" 

So, when "all-America persons is set- 
tled in state of very hoarse condition," 
blending their voices in "a very congre- 
gational lynch-law sound," Mr. Hashi- 
mura Togo may be assured that those 
"yells of shouts" proceed from emotions 
sanctified by moral enthusiasm, and that 
they promote a sense of national solidar- 

Midsummer Abeyance 


ity. The bawling and braying may- 
hap, had we a notation sufficiently spirit- 
ual to record their meaning, they might 
gain acceptance as an American "Wacht 
am Rhein," an American "Marseillaise," 
and not less potent than the war-songs 
of older races. Micky O'Hooligan sees 
more of America at a ball game, and 
hears more of it, than anywhere else. He 
knows by its utterances that its heart is 
right. He is consciously, hilariously, a 
part of it. And when, with spirit at once 
softened and elated, he turns toward 
home and is halted in the street by a 

representative of the abhorred "pluto- 
crat" class, he overlooks artificial dis- 
tinctions, as created by a Panama hat, 
gloves, and a swagger-stick, and un- 
grudgingly divulges the score. "A mon's 
a mon, for a' that! " Next day, as he dis- 
cusses the game with Father Hogan and 
Morris Rosenberg, with Patrolman Mc- 
Nally and a worker from the settlement, 
with a scab and a walking delegate, 
he finds always a glow of fellow-feeling, 
so strong and so genuine as in some sort 
to bespeak a realization of that noble 
American ideal, the brotherhood of man. 



STRAMONIUM, dank-breathed and sickly-sweet, 
Clings in the fields, with heavier scents and vague 
That stifle when the sun peeps forth to plague 
The seeding grasses, ripe and parched like wheat. 
The air, cast up on writhing waves of heat, 
All-impotent to slake each minute's dearth, 
Exhausted seems; the whole sun-frenzied earth 
With struggling life o'erburdened and replete. 

This hour is not Man's hour; in verity 
Each weedling of the earth's abundancy 
Claims ever as of yore its wrested right. 
For all thy mind's indomitable might 
It now must yield, to claim what victory 
In the clear stillness of some winter's night? 



" IN the world at large, France has 
come to a consciousness of her real 
power." Written for "The Year in 
France " of 1905 and 1906, 1 these words 
have been more than confirmed ever 
since. At that time they referred to in- 
ternational episodes in which France's 
possession of a great portion of the 
world's gold had told decisively for the 
world's peace. From the beginning of the 
year 1907 to the money panic of the 
year's end in America, and afterwards 
all through the financial and industrial 
crisis provoked by the panic in European 
countries, this possession of ready gold 
by France has again been forced on the 
world's attention. 

Such financial predominance is of far 
more general interest than the year's 
commonplace political or social events, or 
even than the imbroglio in Morocco from 
which France is not yet extricated, and 
which cannot be written of understand- 

It has not only kept unbroken the 
prosperity of the French people, it 
has helped England, which stood in the 
direct line of commotion, to withstand 
the rebound of panic and to bring first 
aid to the wounded in America; it con- 
tinues enabling Germany to endure an 
interior crisis as dangerous to the empire 
and the world as war itself; and it still 
presents a guarantee of peace against 
German partisan ambitions. All this has 
been only to meet the year's extraordi- 
nary demand. The ordinary permeation 
of the universe by French gold has mean- 
time gone on as before. 

A dozen years since, while the particu- 

1 By the present writer ; published in The 
Atlantic for August, 1906. 

lar policy of Crispi was exasperating the 
general hostility of the Triple Alliance 
against France, a journalist of Naples 
wrote belligerently, " We need several 
milliards to pay our debts. There are 
two or three in gold or silver in the Bank 
of France. Let's go and take them." 
At the end of 1907 Signer Luzzatti, who 
merits the praise of having put Italian 
finances on their feet, can think of no- 
thing better to secure easy money for the 
world than international measures for 
what has been styled " a more even dis- 
tribution among other nations of the 
gold now in the possession of France." 

It is neither to the credit nor to the 
interest of a great nation like the United 
States to wait on the flux and reflux in the 
world of ready money, man's invention, 
as if these were unintelligible acts of 
God like earthquakes or hurricanes, and 
so beyond human laws of insurance 
against accidents. That France is the 
creditor of all nations and debtor of none, 
that she is far along the way of becoming 
the world's banker, is in the line of under- 
standable cause and effect. It is no haz- 
ard of new fortune. Neither luck at home 
nor foolishness abroad has led up to it. 
It is the natural resultant of a composi- 
tion of moral forces which may exist in 
any nation ; and they meet the same op- 
posing forces in France as elsewhere. 

The financial events of the year centre 
in certain deliberate operations of the 
Bank of France, an institution as inde- 
pendent within the limits of its statutory 
privilege as the Supreme Court of the 
United States within the limits of the 
Constitution. The material possibility of 
such operations, like the riches of France, 
is due to certain traditional and spon- 

French Finance 


taneous habits of the French people. 
These again are veering more and more 
toward international finance under pres- 
sure of the great "credit" banks, whose 
phenomenal growth is one of the most 
disconcerting factors of French progress 
for a quarter of a century. 

The events of the year have brought 
into play all these financial peculiarities 
of France. In the darkness of the Amer- 
ican situation they start up many burning 
questions. Luckily they fall under a few 
ready formulas. 

First, there is a practical separation 
of Bank and State : the Bank of France 
controls the movement of gold and the 
circulation of currency as well. Second, 
the French people have gold in their 
possession as a reward of obedience to 
their century-old precept, " When you 
have four cents spend only two " the 
other two going to make up the famous 
French savings, Vepargne nationale. The 
same caution is ingrained in French com- 
merce and industry, inconveniently for 
those who prefer gambling risks on the 
future, but with final profit made clear 
in times of panic. Third, the great popu- 
lar banks, which have the investing of 
their customers' savings (not of their 
deposits, which are dealt with otherwise 
in France) and so handle a major portion 
of the country's liquid capital, are inde- 
pendent of the Bourse rather, stock- 
exchange operations depend largely on 
the banks. 

Thanks to such elementary principles, 
French finance has so far successfully 
withstood all meddling of politicians in 
power, even when they give legislation 
a violent trend toward Socialist upturn- 
ings of property. Individual speculation, 
as mad and swindling as anywhere else, 
has its ravages circumscribed like itself. 
Disasters of thousands of millions of 
francs come and go with no diminution 
of the vital strength of France. The ran- 
som of the Franco-Prussian war and the 
penalty of Panama were not too heavy a 
strain; and there is no reason to think 
now that any possible bankruptcy of 

Russia, in spite of the dozen milliards 
she owes to the French people, would 
shatter the financial energy of France. 

At the beginning of the year 1907, 
banks and stock exchanges the world 
over were involved in a monetary strin- 
gency due to manifold causes near and 
remote, but directly occasioned by the 
habitual American demand for more 
ready capital than exists in the whole 
world. M. Paul Leroy-Beaulieu, a com- 
petent authority, estimates the average 
amount of capital available in the world 
each year at 12,000,000,000 francs. In 
a single year the United States clamored 
for 16,000,000,000 francs. " When Mr. 
Pierpont Morgan talks figures I grow 
dizzy," was a remark of the late Baron 
Alphonse de Rothschild. 

The Bank of France, warned by the 
experience of preceding years, had al- 
ready taken measures to prevent the 
draining away of its gold. Notably, it 
ruled out from its discounts all merely 
financial paper, the notorious Amer- 
ican " finance bills," no matter what 
their personal or company endorsement. 
For some time, in strict conformity with 
its statutes, it had been limiting its dis- 
counts to short-term and quickly realiz- 
able commercial values, such as drafts in 
payment of purchases actually effected, 
or bona-fide commodity bills. The terms 
of the national privilege of the Bank of 
England do not enable it to protect it- 
self so well ; and it bore the brunt of the 
American demand with difficulty. 

The Bank of France had every reason 
for coming to the help of the Bank of 
England. Gold, like any other exchange- 
able article, finally goes to the highest 
bidder; and the successive rise in discount 
rates paid in London was sure to draw 
gold from Paris. If the Bank of France 
were forced to raise its own rates in self- 
defense, money would grow dear at home, 
and French commerce and industry 
would suffer. To prevent this is the main 
reason of the exclusive privilege conferred 
by the State on the Bank of France. 

After some difficulties of technical 


French Finance 

negotiation for the world's great banks, 
like individual capitalists, have their self- 
loveit was agreed that the Bank of 
France should apply an unused privilege 
of its statutes, and open, for the Bank 
of England alone, a " foreign portfolio." 
This meant that the Bank of France 
would release gold to the Bank of Eng- 
land by discounting three-months' ster- 
ling bills drawn on London, instead of 
limiting its discounts to the commercial 
paper drawn on Paris which makes up its 
ordinary portfolio. The Bank of Eng- 
land used this gold to meet the demands 
of the American situation; and in this 
way some $15,000,000 in gold soon found 
its way from Paris through London to 
New York. The stringency relaxed, but 
not till the Bank of France, in pursuance 
of a deliberate policy, had notified the 
world by an unexpected, though slight, 
increase in its discount rate, that it too 
was ready to act in self-defense. By the 
1st of July, 1907, the Bank of England 
had completely reimbursed the Bank of 
France, either as the sterling bills fell 
due or after renewal. 

The American demand for more money 
than the world contains had not ceased. 
In spite of all the measures of self-preser- 
vation which the banks of Europe had 
everywhere taken, nothing was able to 
withstand the universal recoil from the 
explosion of American financial dynamite 
set off in October. The Bank of France 
again opened a foreign portfolio for the 
Bank of England. The $16,000,000 in 
gold which thus promptly passed from 
its vaults in Paris through London to 
New York, was indeed first aid to the 
wounded both of England and America. 

It soon became evident that the pour- 
ing of foreign gold into New York was 
little more than " throwing snowballs 
into a blast furnace." The crisis affected 
credit; but credit depends on something 
more than the material possession of 
money or of goods exchangeable for 
money. Credit presupposes confidence; 
and Americans were devoid of all mental 
security where money was at stake. 

The Bank of England with difficulty 
protected its own interests by raising 
steadily its discount rates. In Germany 
the rise was by jumps more sudden and 
higher still. Americans, taken up with 
their domestic troubles, do not realize 
that the German danger was comparable 
to their own. There, too, over-industrial- 
ization has been accomplished by infla- 
tion of capital. In a way, the German 
inflation seems justified by results; it 
has been based, for the most part, on 
valid applications of the laws of supply 
and demand. It is certainly far removed 
from the sheer watering of stocks known 
in American speculation. This did not 
lessen the immediate danger of the crisis 
which, through the open market, forced 
the transfer of large sums of gold from 
Germany, where they were needed, to 
America, where the bidding was higher. 
It is claimed that $40,000,000 of the gold 
finally sent from London to New York 
was thus drawn from Germany. Such 
a situation involved French capitalists 
and banks far more directly than did the 
American crisis. The Bank of France 
had to take account of it in all its deci- 
sions, although its own position was inde- 
pendent enough to allow it to choose its 

The Bank of England declared itself 
unwilling, for the sake of America, further 
to increase the burden of its liabilities to 
the Bank of France. American bankers 
and the American government still held 
that gold, more gold, was the only, the 
sufficient remedy for present need. The 
United States government made known 
officially that it would see with pleasure 
the Bank of France release its gold to 
American banks directly, just as it had 
been releasing gold for America, with 
added expense, by the roundabout way 
of London. The answer of the Bank of 
France has been misunderstood and mis- 

First, the negotiations in which the 
American government appeared had nat- 
urally to pass through the hands of the 
French government. They were taken by 

French Finance 


Finance Minister Caillaux as an occasion 
to insist that certain concessions should 
be made in American customs tariffs. 
A year earlier the same finance minister 
is understood to have opposed, as a mat- 
ter of national policy, the opening of a 
foreign portfolio by the Bank of France 
for the Bank of England. In neither 
case was the bank's decision dictated by 
this attitude of the government in power. 
In neither case did the executive pre- 
tend to dictate the decision of the Bank 
of France. For the entire duration of its 
privilege, once it has been voted by Par- 
liament, the Bank of France is autono- 
mous, limited in its decisions by its stat- 
utes alone. 

Second, in obedience to these statutes 
of its privilege, the Bank of France asked 
that any direct loan of its gold to Ameri- 
can private banks should have an Ameri- 
can official guarantee corresponding to 
that of the Bank of England for the direct 
loan made in 1890 during the Baring 
difficulties, and, twice within the past 
few months, for the discounting by the 
Bank of France of sterling bills drawn 
on London. In an international matter 
of this kind, and in default of an official 
central bank for the purpose, only the 
American Treasury could act for the 
United States as tie Bank of England 
did for London. 

The government at Washington an- 
swered that such an official guarantee 
on its part would be unconstitutional. 
The Bank of France could only reply 
that, without such a guarantee, any loan 
on its part would be unstatutory 

Criticism and recrimination, both in 
America and in France, attended the 
failure of these negotiations. A heavy 
issue of short-term treasury notes was 
made by the American government, to 
procure facilities for American banks. 
In Paris it was not understood why sim- 
ilar short-term notes could not have been 
used as a government guarantee for the 
Bank of France, taking the place of the 
sterling bills of the Bank of England. 

In America, a special envoy of La Vie 
Finandere of Paris reported that Mr. 
Pierpont Morgan considered the decision 
of the Bank of France to have been " an 
unfriendly act." This drew from the 
financial world a rejoinder in words of 
M. Arthur Raffalovich: "The great 
American financier may be very much at 
home in American business matters . . . 
but he is ignorant of the organization of 
central issue banks and of their very 
strict duties. There was no ' unfriendly 
act ' on the part of the Bank of France, 
which was quite ready to discount either 
American treasury notes or commercial 

In point of fact, the Bank of France 
shortly after discounted over five million 
dollars worth of American commercial 
paper all that was presented. In the 
irritation of the moment, this gold and 
the sixteen million dollars first aid seem 
to have been quite forgotten. M. Raffal- 
ovich concludes: 

"With such ideas (in the United 
States), there is no dodging the question 
whether a ' Central Bank ' even sup- 
posing they should ever succeed in found- 
ing one, which is not likely would offer 
guarantees of stability and observance of 

During all this period of extreme finan- 
cial tension in the rest of the world, the 
Bank of France was able to secure easy 
and safe money for the French people in 
their domestic commerce and industry. 
The highest discount rate which it was 
forced to adopt was three and four per 
cent lower than the rates imposed in 
England and Germany. 

Most instructive of all was the hand- 
ling of the country's currency by the 
Bank of France. It alone issues and con- 
trols all circulating media, by virtue of 
powers directly delegated to it by Parlia- 
ment when voting its legal privilege. In 
the exercise of such power, for the entire 
duration of the privilege, it is independ- 
ent of passing holders of the executive 
and legislative power. In one week of 
the monetary stringency the Bank of 

French Finance 

France was able to throw 250,000,000 
francs in banknotes into the general cir- 
culation ; and it still had the right to issue 
500,000,000 francs more before reaching 
the limit prescribed to it in its privilege. 

Elasticity of currency was thus secured 
without publicity or debate. It drew no 
attention from politicians, who were left 
free to occupy themselves with topics less 
dangerous and more within their com- 
petence. It passed unnoticed by the 
people who profited by it. Supposing the 
financial condition had been critical, 
there was nothing in such handling of 
the currency to destroy confidence or pro- 
voke panic. Moreover, such measures 
are taken by the Bank of France in ac- 
cordance with the best judgment of life- 
long experts placed at the centre of 
information from home and abroad, sep- 
arated from politics by their position, and 
independent of the stock exchange and 
all its manoeuvres. 

These movements of currency involve 
no danger of inflation. The banknotes are 
not guaranteed by any amount of private 
deposits which the Bank of France may 
have received, nor by any deposit or 
possession of public funds or securities. 
Their sole gauge is the bank's metal re- 
serve (of which the gold without the silver 
is at all times sufficient) together with the 
quickly realizable assets of its portfolio 
(discounted commercial paper). 

In June, 1871, from the tribune of the 
Parliament of the brand-new German 
empire, Prince Bismarck boasted that he 
had refused the banknotes of France in 
payment of the war indemnity. He de- 
manded gold or drafts on other nations, 
good as gold. " We know to-day's rate 
of these banknotes," he said; " but what 
they are going to be worth to-morrow is a 
thing unknown." 

At the beginning of 1908, in spite of 
all the pressure brought to bear through 
Moroccan difficulties between the two 
countries, German securities have once 
more been refused admission to the Paris 
Bourse; the year's issue of loans by 
Prussia and the German empire has 

been little better than a moderate failure; 
German Funds in the market are ten 
francs lower than the French Rentes, 
depressed as the latter are by Socialist 
politics ; Germany, to ballast her finances, 
must increase her public debt within the 
next five years by a milliard of marks, not 
francs; and meanwhile German banks 
are bolstered up, and German industries 
saved from financial disaster, only by 
help of French money in gold or in 
banknotes of France, good as gold. 

A Socialist journal formulates the situ- 
ation : " France sells 1,200,000,000 francs' 
worth of goods to England each year and 
lends 1,600,000,000 francs in money to 

With this question of banknote cur- 
rency there is sometimes mixed up the 
subordinate use of silver coin in France. 
It has to be noticed here, if only for the 
reason that undying bimetallism exag- 
gerates its play in the money movement. 

The lowest limit of paper money is- 
sued by the Bank of France is the 50- 
franc banknote. For all sums under that 
amount, a circulating medium is found in 
20-franc and 10-franc gold pieces, while 
small change is supplied by 5-franc ($1), 
2 and 1 -franc, and 50-centime silver coins. 
By virtue of the Latin Union, this silver 
coinage is current and interchangeable 
among France, Belgium, Switzerland, 
Greece, and, for 5-franc pieces, Italy. 

We have here, within a close circle and 
in low denominations, an international 
bimetallism. Its working exemplifies the 
same laws as the international movement 
of gold. When Paris 'change on Brus- 
sels goes down, Belgian silver flows into 
France; but with 'change low on Lon- 
don it is gold that comes. This flux and 
reflux of silver is of corresponding use to 
the Bank of France in its relations with 
neighbors of the Latin Union. 

At home, also, the Bank of France has 
the right to pay out, at its discretion, sil- 
ver instead of gold; and this, in a meas- 
ure, helps it to safeguard the gold reserve 
on which its international predominance 

French Finance 


From October, 1906, to the end of Jan- 
uary, 1907, a period of monetary strin- 
gency, through which the Bank of France 
had to protect its gold reserve, while re- 
leasing gold to London and New York, 
its silver reserve was diminished by 
50,000,000 francs. By the end of Janu- 
ary, 1908, after a further season of 
American panic and international crisis, 
- it was reduced by 80,000,000 francs 

It is not easy to know how much of 
this round loss of $25,000,000 in its silver 
reserve was deliberately incurred by the 
Bank of France ; but its discretionary use 
of silver, quite apart from its elastic bank- 
note limit, must have increased its ability 
to meet the international financial crisis, 
and, in particular, to keep money easy 
for people at home. Let it be understood 
that the Gold Cure is best, unique, for 
the healing of the nations; but silver, in 
France at least, is an effective succeda- 

With the turn of the financial tide gold, 
obedient to the laws of its motion, flows 
steadily back to the Bank of France. In 
the first week of May, 1908, the bank 
increased its gold reserve by 20,000,000 
francs in bars bought in the open market 
of London, and by 30,000,000 francs in 
gold exports from America. The fol- 
lowing week had a further increase of 
33,000,000 francs, mainly from America; 
and the influx was not yet over. The 
Bank of England had already discharged 
its indebtedness, and the foreign portfolio 
was closed. To draw all this gold to its 
vaults the Bank of France offered no 
special facilities. The natural working 
of the rates of exchange among the na- 
tions was sufficient. 

With no national envy of its " honest 
broker's commission," we may take pass- 
ing note of the prosperity of the Bank of 
France as a business enterprise, its as- 
sured profits in transactions multiplied 
by the year's disturbances and the steady 
rise of its shares, ^he new financial year 
(May 29, 1908) sees the bank in posses- 
sion of three milliards $600,000,000 

of gold. This has long been the aim of its 
deliberate policy; it is the one means of 
preserving that monetary primacy which 
the virtues of her people have so labori- 
ously won for France in the world. The 
other central banks of the nations of Eu- 
rope have taken this leaf from the policy 
of the Bank of France to strengthen 
and safeguard to the utmost their gold 
reserves over against the time of need. 

The Bank of France controlling the 
nation's money is one thing. Govern- 
ment's administration of the national 
receipts and expenditures is another. 
Upholding both is the French people, 
thrifty to a degree which Americans with 
their loose money habits can ill appre- 
ciate. A simple comparison of the situ- 
ation of France in 1908 with the ruin left 
behind by war thirty-seven years ago 
will show what a sound financial organ- 
ization can do for an industrious people 
that husbands and does not squander its 
resources. 1 

In February, 1871, when war was over, 
the proper functionary said to the Fi- 
nance Minister of the Government of 
National Defence, " My hat will hold all 
the funds we have to go on with; we 
have 500,000 francs." 

One bank in the world was willing to 
treat with France for a loan ; and French- 
men are not likely now, merely for a 
criticism of the Bank of France, to for- 
get what they owe to the house of Mor- 
gan " the only foreign bankers to hold 
out a hand to us." The Emprunt Mor- 
gan was negotiated at the London branch 
of the great American bank, for 250,000,- 
000 francs. At first it was demanded that 
France should pledge her state forests 
and domains. The government, which 
was as yet scarcely more than provisional, 
had the strength to refuse: " You must 
trust the signature of France." 

1 For the following figiires I atn indebted to 
M. Alfred Neymarck, La Situation financiere 
de la France (October, 1907) ; to L'Economiste 
Europten of M. Edmond The'ry ; and to the 
Budget estimates presented to Parliament by 
Finance Minister Caillaux (19 May, 1908). 


French Finance 

Bonds at 6 per cent, with a face value 
of 500 francs, were put on the market at 
400, 415, and 425; they were to be reim- 
bursed in thirty-four years. Within four 
years they were paid up in full. France 
in her need had been able to profit only 
by the sum of 208,000,000 francs. In- 
terest and other charges had amounted 
to more than 8 per cent yearly. 

Within the same short time the whole 
war indemnity of 5,000,000,000 francs 
was also paid in full to Germany. Do- 
mestic loans had successfully appealed 
to the savings of Frenchmen in the name 
of the principle which binds them in their 
private as well as in their public life, 
respect for their signature. 

In 1869, just before the Franco-Prus- 
sian war, the national debt of France 
reached 13,000,000,000 francs, with an 
annual charge on the consolidated debt 
of 320,000,000 francs. War, the war in- 
demnity with the heavy interest it bore, 
and the expenses of departments suffering 
from the invasion, cost France 15,000,- 
000,000 francs. War material, arsenals, 
forts, navy and colonial defenses, all had 
to be made anew; and this, to the end of 
1906, has amounted to 41,850,000,000 
francs according to the calculations, year 
for year, submitted to Parliament by ex- 
Finance Minister Poincare in a Budget 
report for 1908. Ex-Finance Minister 
Cochery, in his critical examination of 
the report, brings up the sum to 53,000,- 
000,000 francs. Moreover, from 1870 to 
1906, France paid 4,719,018,253 francs 
in military pensions, and 2,122,338,549 
francs in civil pensions. 

For railroads, from 1871 to 1905, the 
French Parliament appropriated more 
than 11,000,000,000 francs; for canals 
2,000,000,000 francs. In 1869 the public 
school expenses of France amounted to 
51,000,000 francs; the yearly appropri- 
ation has increased steadily to 270,000,- 
000 francs for 1908. In 1871 posts and 
telegraphs, both government services, ex- 
pended 83,000,000 francs; in 1905, with 
telephones added, the appropriation was 
240,000,000 francs (the receipts more 

than pay this item). For state subsidies 
of agriculture, commerce, industry, pub- 
lic assistance and insurance, it is enough 
to say that the leaps and bounds of late 
years have often been 100,000,000 francs 
annually. The tremendous acquisitions 
of colonial territory have entailed, since 
1895, a yearly expense, beyond receipts, 
of more than 80,000,000 francs. 

The French National Debt (January 1, 
1907) in exact francs showed the fol- 
lowing figures : consolidated 22,406,362,- 
811.85; amortizable by annuities 6,727,- 
426,119.07; total debt, 29,133,788,930.92 
francs, reduced January 1, 1908, by 74,- 
964,226.54 francs. To meet the charges 
of this debt, the finance minister asks 
Frenchmen in 1909 to pay 655,841,611 
francs of interest on the consolidated 
debt (3 per cent Rentes), and 316,036,220 
francs in annuities and interest on short- 
term treasury notes; to which he adds 
291,662,950 francs in pensions also owed 
by the nation, three-fifths of them being 
military ($34,000,000) and the rest for 
retired civil functionaries. 

In 1906 the actual receipts of the gov- 
ernment were 3,837,000,186.87 francs 
(over $767,400,000), representing 99.50 
francs per head of the whole popula- 
tion. That is, the French people are able 
and willing to pay yearly something like 
$20 per man, woman, and child for their 
public expenditure as an organized civil 
society. Their per capita proportion of 
the national debt $148 is approxi- 
mated only by Portugal ; but the average 
French taxation per head is exceeded in 
both Germany (over $27) and England 
(about $22). 

By themselves, such figures do not 
show the financial efficiency of the coun- 
try. Turkey nominally taxes its inhab- 
itants little over 17 francs per head, and 
the portion of each in the national debt 
is less than $25, while each citizen of the 
Republic of Liberia shares in its na- 
tional debt to the tune of 1 franc. Taken 
with other signs of private and public 
wealth, such state expenditures and lia- 
bilities do show that France pays much 

French Finance 


because her individual citizens have 
much. " The riches of France are inex- 
haustible," said Thiers, to comfort his 
colleagues against Bismarck. 

International finance considers the 
earning power of France only in relation 
to actual gold saved up for use and in- 
vestment abroad. Certain officially estab- 
lished facts for a single year, with others 
approximately known, show the general 
earnings of French production, from 
which, with the interest on savings al- 
ready invested, new yearly savings come 
to increase the gold possession and in- 
vestments of the French people. 

France has long held the third place 
among the wheat-growing countries ."ofc 
the world. In 1905 the intensive cultiva- 
tion of her soil, which has been made 
possible by tariff protection, gave a 
yield of 338,785,000 bushels as against 
692,979,000 bushels grown in the United 
States with immensely greater fields and 
population. This is but one instance of 
the successful effort of French agriculture 
to make itself sufficient to the needs of 
the French people. 

The gold-earning power of French 
industry must be estimated from the pro- 
gress of French commerce. Confusion 
is apt to arise here from a too obvious 
comparison with new Germany. In 1869 
the general foreign commerce of France 
amounted to 8,000,000,000 francs; in 
1906 it had risen to 14,000,000,000 francs 
an increase of 75 per cent. The French 
population had meantime increased less 
than 4 per cent, while Germany has aug- 
mented her population 50 per cent, with 
consequent industrial and commercial 
dealings of 20,000,000 more people than 

This does not mean that along these 
lines France is keeping up, even pro- 
portionally, with the lead of Germany. 
The French people, after providing for 
their own wants, do little, in comparison 
with Germany and America or even Eng- 
land, to create new business. They do 
use their money savings to lend out to 
others, willing to run into debt for such 

a purpose. Any valid estimate of French 
progress has to strike the balance among 
such national equivalences. 

An extra channel by which the outside 
world's gold, more and more each year, 
pours into France is the day-by-day 
expenditure of travelers in the country. 
This is something quite apart from the 
general commerce of importation and 
exportation, and it appears in no govern- 
ment statistics. The sale, on the spot, of 
art objects and articles of luxury, in 
particular of female attire, has become 
an ever-increasing source of wealth to 
Paris. This coincides with the recent 
growth of tourist habits among the mid- 
dle classes of Europe and America, for 
rich people had been in the habit of 
spending their money in Paris since the 
Second Empire. 

This sumptuary impost is accepted, 
invited even, by foreigners. It is reason- 
able and legitimate. It is not made so by 
French taste alone, to which, as to a sort 
of gift of God, the envious of other na- 
tions like to attribute it. French superi- 
ority in such matters is due to long and 
intelligent training, to willing applica- 
tion to details and patience in combining, 
with insistence on a routine standard of 
excellence. The French artisan is worthy 
of his hire. His work, as a rule, is neither 
ready-made nor standardized, nor yet 
cheap and nasty. He will lose his pre- 
eminence, as John Stuart Mill observed 
of Lombardy and Flanders in the Middle 
Ages, only "as other countries success- 
ively attain an equal degree of civiliza- 

The gayety of French resorts, the at- 
traction of scenery and historic sites, the 
facilities of automobiling furnished by 
the mere excellence of roads through 
every part of the country, another 
notch up in civilization, have more 
than doubled this revenue from tourists 
within a few years. 

Annual income of this kind is, of 
course, not all profit; labor, material, and 
the means of using both, cost heavily and 
have to be employed freely on the part 


French Finance 

of the French. Still, the direct profits 
are greater than in other industries. And 
the payments made by foreign travelers 
are practically always in gold brought by 
them into the country. 

A reasonable estimate, for the single 
year 1907, of the gold thus imported 
into France by travelers, to be spent in 
hotels, transportation, amusements, and 
purchases, is three milliards of francs 
($600,000,000), a sum equal to the high- 
est gold reserve of the Bank of France. 
Americans commonly exaggerate both 
their numbers and their expenditures 
in France; but one-fifth of this sum 
($120,000,000) may safely be set down 
as their share. 

This state of things in 1908 is a curious 
commentary on the conclusion drawn in 
1830 from reasonings of political eco- 
nomy by John Stuart Mill : " The great 
trading towns of France would undoubt- 
edly be more flourishing, if France were 
not frequented by foreigners." 

A good part of the gold earned by the 
thrifty French people goes into their 
" savings in the house, savings in land, 
savings in the family, savings in stocks 
and bonds." The old unproductive 
hoarding of such money the peasant's 
bos de laine has given way in France 
to the habit of handing it over to banks 
for investment in foreign securities or for 
lending out otherwise. This, far more 
than the regulating influence of the Bank 
of France and its gold reserve, secures 
the financial predominance of France in 
the world. In such a matter figures can 
approximate to the reality only within 
limits of hundreds of millions; but even 
so they form a valid basis of judgment. 
M. Alfred Neymarck has calculated these 
yearly savings of French citizens at from 
1,500,000,000 to 2,000,000,000 francs - 
$400,000,000 added to the liquid money 
capital of the French people each year 
that God gives them. 

It is evident that only a portion of 
this money directly enters international 
finance. Not to speak of the steady de- 
velopment, however slow in comparison 

with other nations, of French industry 
and commerce by new capital, out of 
12,000,000 householders 9,000,000 own 
their homes, which supposes a large em- 
ployment of savings in real estate. In 
1905 there was a total of 4,655,000,000 
francs of deposits in the French savings 
banks ; the surplus has been used of late 
by government to keep up the French 
Rentes in the open market, whenever 
the threat of Socialist legislation by Par- 
liament sends them down. 

At the end of 1907, the sight deposits 
of five Paris credit banks amounted to 
3,424,000,000 francs, and those of the 
Bank of France to 489,000,000 francs. 
Such deposits are made exclusively in 
specie or banknotes, or in cheques or 
drafts to be cashed by the banks. In no 
case can deposited securities be entered 
to a depositor's account current, although 
the credit banks would undertake their 
sale and afterwards add the proceeds to 
the account as a sight deposit. If the 
depositor wishes the bank to use a por- 
tion of his money deposits in the purchase 
of securities, these again cannot be cred- 
ited to him as a sight deposit, although 
the bank will advance money on them as 
a loan on security; but in this case they 
migrate to the other (asset) side of the 
bank's balance-sheet and enter into a 
different account of the customer. 

This watch kept over the genuineness 
of bank deposits is extended to the use 
of them by the banks. Only short-term 
operations are allowed, in which quick 
realization is possible. The discounting 
of commercial paper, short-term loans 
on securities, and carry-overs at the stock 
exchange are the chief uses in present 
practice. During the past year such 
short-term loans constituted a good part 
of the underground aid rendered by the 
credit banks of Paris to German banks. 
Offers of 9 per cent interest on direct 
long loans to German industries were 

The year also saw a clash between 
Paris credit banks and the official stock- 
exchange agents of the Paris Bourse. 

French Finance 


In the marasmus of speculation, the lat- 
ter began using in carry-overs the large 
sums originally left in their hands by 
customers for investments. This explains 
the excessively low rates which prevailed 
in Paris while other money markets were 
still suffering from monetary stringency. 
But it also deprived the banks of the 
profitable use of their deposits in a field 
which they had come to consider as their 
own. As a consequence, the credit banks 
ceased their Bourse operations almost 
entirely, leaving the Paris stock exchange 
in the state of neurasthenia which so 
puzzled foreign experts. This passing 
assertion by French banks of their power 
in the stock exchange is a sign of the 
financial times, and possibly of a new 

During the year 1907 the Bank of 
France and the five credit banks dis- 
counted 75,000,000 different pieces of 
commercial paper, representing an effect- 
ive capital of 50,000,000,000 francs. The 
total amount of loans on securities and 
money used in carry-overs by the six 
banks was 20,000,000,000 francs. This 
short-term use of their depositors' money 
($14,000,000,000 in all) resulted in two 
inestimable advantages for the French 
people ease in specie payments and 
constant circulation of ready money. 

To show the safety as well as the utility 
of this method of handling bank deposits, 
the situation of December 31, 1907, is 
sufficient. At that date the banknote 
circulation not covered by the metal re- 
serve of the Bank of France the sole 
issue bank was 1,186,000,000 francs. 
This, added to the figures already given 
of its sight deposits and those of the five 
credit banks, makes up a grand total of 
5,099,000,000 francs. To face this, the 
Bank of France had 1,216,000,000 francs 
of short-term commercial paper which 
it had discounted; and the five credit 
banks held 2,414,000,000 francs more. 
In outstanding short-term loans on se- 
curities and in carry-overs at the Bourse 
the Bank of France had 580,000,000 
francs, and the credit banks 883,000,000 
VOL. 102 -NO. 2 

francs. This makes another grand total 
of 5,093,000,000 francs given out by the 
banks in ready money for the every-day 
uses of the French people, while re- 
maining quickly realizable assets against 
the banks' liabilities of 5,099,000,000 
francs received as deposits or issued as 
uncovered banknotes. 

From the point of view of international 
finance the most interesting thing in the 
flow of the liquid capital of France has 
been its deliberate " canalization y ' in 
the direction of foreign investment by a 
dozen great banks, of which the Credit 
Lyonnais was the first and is still the 
chief. From 1880 to 1906, the officially 
assessed holding of foreign securities by 
Frenchmen more than doubled. At the 
latter date, M. Neymarck considers that 
stocks and bonds and national funds to 
the total amount of 100,000,000,000 
francs were held in France ; and of these 
35,000,000,000 francs ($7,000,000,000) 
are debts of foreigners to Frenchmen. 
Even this does not include the securities 
certainly several milliards which 
the French bourgeois have been hiding 
of late years in foreign banks to escape 
threatened Socialist taxes at home. 

It would be too long to give the list of 
government, railway, and industrial loans 
which the various countries of Europe 
and America (and Africa) have entirely 
or in large part placed in France. At the 
end of April, 1908, even the slice of the 
Russian loan of 1905 which had nomin- 
ally been taken by Vienna bankers came 
over to the Paris Bourse; and the London 
slice seemed likely to follow suit. The 
Spanish Exterior debt is held and a great 
part of the Spanish railways owned in 
France. So are the national debts and 
industries of Greece, Portugal, Bulgaria, 
Egypt, and of many South American 
states, Mexican banks and the bank 
of Morocco. To this would still have to 
be added the Italian national debt if Italy 
had not copied French methods of self- 
sufficiency, thanks to the cooperation of 
great Paris banks. 

There have been many reasons 


Thoreau's "Maine Woods 9 ' 

legal restrictions rather than distrust of 
financial methods which have limited 
the investment of French gold in the rail- 
ways and industries of the United States. 
Here too, however, underground French 
finance plays a greater part than is com- 
monly supposed, escaping government 
statistics and taxation. 

The past year has seen a renewal of 
violent attacks on the great French banks 
for their policy in foreign investments: 
first, they are accused of risking disaster, 
for example, in lending to Russia, 
and, next, of hindering the development 
of home industry by drawing needed new 
capital out of the country. The risks of 
the banks are certainly not speculative, 

as was the case with Law in old France 
and with some of the trust companies of 
the present United States. And any sud- 
den catastrophe would seem impossible 
from the immense variety of investments 
eggs in widely diverse baskets and 
from the permanent gold resources of 
the customers whose money the banks 

Such attacks for the most part look 
toward social revolution. The banking 
practice of France, like her riches and 
French financial predominance, rests on 
individual property-holding and the com- 
petition of the nations. They cannot be 
other than bourgeois, capitalist, reac- 
tionary as regards Socialism. 



IT is more than half a century since 
Henry D. Thoreau made his last visit 
to Maine. And now the forest which he 
came to see has all but vanished, and in 
its place stands a new forest with new 
customs. No one should expect to find 
here precisely what Thoreau found; 
therefore, before all recollection of the 
old days has passed away, it is fitting 
that some one who knew their traditions 
should bear witness to Thoreau's inter- 
pretation of the Maine woods. 

We hardly appreciate how great are 
the changes of the last fifty years; how 
the steamboat, the motor-boat, the loco- 
motive, and even the automobile, have 
invaded regions which twenty years ago 
could be reached only by the lumber- 
man's batteau and the hunter's canoe; 
how cities have arisen, and more are be- 
ing projected, on the same ground where 
Thoreau says that " the best shod travel 
for the most part with wet feet," and 
that "melons, squashes, sweet-corn, to- 
matoes, beans, and many other vege- 

tables, could not be ripened," because 
the forest was so dense and moist. 

Less than twenty years since there 
was not a sporting camp in any part of 
the northern Maine wilderness ; now who 
may number them ? Yet, even before the 
nineties, when one could travel for days 
and meet no one, the pine tree was gone ; 
the red-shirted lumberman was gone; the 
axe was about to give place to the saw; 
and soon, almost upon the clearing where 
Thoreau reported the elder Fowler, the 
remotest settler, as wholly content in his 
solitude and thinking that " neighbors, 
even the best, were only trouble and ex- 
pense," was to rise one of the largest pulp 
mills in the world, catching the logs mid- 
way their passage down the river and 
grinding them into paper. And the pine 
tree, of which Thoreau made so much ? 
Native to the state and long accustomed 
to its woods, I cannot remember ever 
having seen a perfect, old-growth white 
pine tree; it is doubtful if there is one 
standing in the state to-day. 

Thoreau's "Maine Woods" 


So the hamadryad has fled before the 
demand for ship-timber and Sunday edi- 
tions, and the unblemished forest has 
passed beyond recall. There are woods 
enough still ; there is game enough, 
more of some kinds than in the old days; 
there are fish enough; there seems to be 
room enough for all who come; but the 
man who has lived here long realizes that 
the woods are being " camped to death ; " 
and the man who is old enough to re- 
member days departed rustles the leaves 
of Thoreau's book when he would listen 
again to the pine tree soughing in the 

What is it that The Maine Woods 
brings to us besides ? The moods and 
music of the forest; the vision of white 
tents beside still waters; of canoes drawn 
out on pebbly beaches; of camp-fires 
flickering across rippling rapids; the 
voice of the red squirrel, " spruce and 
fine;" the melancholy laughter of the 
loon, and the mysterious " night war- 
bler," always pursued and never appre- 
hended. Most of all it introduces us to 
Thoreau himself. 

It must be admitted in the beginning 
that The Maine Woods is not a master- 
piece. Robert Louis Stevenson discards 
it as not literature. It is, however, a very 
good substitute, and had Robert Louis 
worn it next the skin he might perhaps 
have absorbed enough of the spirit of 
the American forest to avoid the gaudy 
melodrama which closes The Master of 
Ballantrae. The Maine Woods is of an- 
other world. Literature it may not be, 
nor one of "the three books of his that 
will be read with much pleasure; " but 
it is the Maine woods. Since Tho- 
reau's day, whoever has looked at these 
woods to advantage has to some extent 
seen them through Thoreau's eyes. Cer- 
tain it is that no other man has ever put 
the coniferous forest between the leaves 
of a book. 

For that he came for that and the 
Indian. Open it where you will and 
the little old first edition is by all odds 
to be chosen if one is fastidious about the 

printed page, to get the full savor of it; 
open where you will and these two speak 
to you. He finds water " too civilizing; " 
he wishes to become " selvaggia; " he 
turns woodworm in his metamorphosis, 
and loves to hear himself crunching 
nearer and nearer to the heart of the tree. 
He is tireless in his efforts to wrench their 
secrets from the woods; and, in every 
trial, he endeavors, not to talk about 
them, but to flash them with lightning 
vividness into the mind of the reader. 
" It was the opportunity to be ignorant 
that I improved. It suggested to me that 
there was something to be seen if one had 
eyes. It made a believer of me more than 
before. I believed that the woods were 
not tenantless, but choke-full of honest 
spirits as good as myself any day." 

It is sometimes the advantage of a 
second-rate book that it endears the 
writer to us. The Thoreau of Walden, 
with his housekeeping all opened up for 
inspection, refusing the gift of a rug 
rather than shake it, throwing away 
his paperweight to avoid dusting it 
where 's the woman believes he would 
have dusted it ? parades his econo- 
mies priggishly, like some pious anchoret 
with a business eye fixed on Heaven. But 
when he tells us in the appendix to the 
Woods that for a cruise three men need 
only one large knife and one iron spoon 
(for all), a four-quart tin pail for kettle, 
two tin dippers, three tin plates and 
a fry pan, his economy, if extreme, is 
manly and convincing. We meet him 
here among men whom we have known 
ourselves; we see how he treated them 
and how they treated him, and he ap- 
pears to better advantage than when 
skied among the lesser gods of Concord. 

Here is Joe Polis, whose judgment of 
a man would be as shrewd as any mere 
literary fellow's, and Joe talks freely, 
which in those days an Indian rarely 
did with whites. Here is the late Hiram 
L. Leonard, " the gentlemanly hunter of 
the stage," known to all anglers by his 
famous fishing rods. Those who remem- 
ber his retiring ways will not doubt that 


Thoreau's "Maine Woods" 

it was Thoreau who prolonged the con- 
versation. Here is Deacon George A. 
Thatcher, the " companion " of the first 
two trips. That second invitation and 
the deacon's cordial appreciation of 
" Henry " bespeak agreeable relations 
outside those of kinship. The Thoreau 
whom we meet here smiles at us. We see 
him, a shortish, squarish, brown-beard- 
ed, blue-eyed man, in a check shirt, with 
a black string tie, thick waistcoat, thick 
trousers, an old Kossuth hat, for the 
costume that he recommends for woods 
wear must needs have been his own, 
and over all a brown linen sack, on 
which, indelible, is the ugly smutch that 
he got when he hugged the sooty kettle 
to his side as he raced Polis across 
Grindstone Carry. 

To every man his own Thoreau ! But 
why is not this laughing runner, scatter- 
ing boots and tinware, as true to life as 
any ? Brusque, rude, repellant no doubt 
he often was, and beyond the degree ex- 
cusable; affecting an unnecessary disdain 
of the comfortable, harmless goods of 
life; more proud, like Socrates, of the 
holes in his pockets than young Alcibi- 
ades of his whole, new coat; wrong very 
often, and most wrong upon his points 
of pride; yet he still had his southerly 
side, more open to the sun than to the 
wind. It is not easy to travel an unstaked 
course, against the advice and wishes 
and in the teeth of the prophecies of all 
one's friends, when it would be sweet 
and easy to win their approval and, 
Himmel ! to stop their mouths ! by 
burning one's faggot. A fighting faith, 
sleeping on its arms, often has to be 
stubborn and ungenial. What Henry 
Thoreau needed was to be believed in 
through thick and thin, and then let 
alone; and the very crabbedness, so often 
complained of, indicates that, like his 
own wild apples, in order to get a chance 
to grow, he had to protect himself by 
thorny underbrush from his too solicitous 

There is a popular notion that Tho- 
reau was a great woodsman, able to go 

anywhere by dark or daylight, without 
path or guide ; that he knew all the secrets 
of the pioneer and the hunter; that he 
was unequaled as an observer, and al- 
most inerrant in judgment, being able to 
determine at a glance weight, measure, 
distance, area, or cubic contents. The 
odd thing about these popular opinions 
is that they are not true. Thoreau was 
not a woodsman; he was not infallible; 
he was not a scientific observer; he was 
not a scientist at all. He could do many 
things better than most men ; but the sum 
of many excellencies is not perfection. 

For the over-estimate of Thoreau's 
abilities, Emerson is chiefly responsible. 
His noble eulogy of Thoreau has been 
misconstrued in a way which shows the 
alarming aptitude of the human mind 
for making stupid blunders. We all have 
a way of taking hold of a striking detail 
which Mr. Emerson was a rare one 
for perceiving and making of it the 
whole story. We might name it the fallacy 
of the significant detail. Do we not always 
see Hawthorne, the youth, walking by 
night? Who thinks of it as any less ha- 
bitual than eating his dinner ? And be- 
cause Stevenson, in an unguarded mo- 
ment, confessed that " he had played the 
sedulous ape" to certain authors, no 
writer, out of respect to our weariness, 
has ever forborne to remind us of that 
pleasant monkey trick of Stevenson's 
youth. Nor are we ever allowed to forget 
that Thoreau " saw as with microscope, 
heard as with ear- trumpet," and that 
" his power of observation seemed to 
indicate additional senses." It is because 
the majority of mankind see no difference 
in values between facts aglow with poetic 
fervor and facts preserved in the cold 
storage of census reports, that Emerson's 
splendid eulogy of his friend, with its 
vivid, personal characterizations rising 
like the swift bubbles of a boiling spring 
all through it, has created the unfortu- 
nate impression that Thoreau made no 

Emerson himself did not distinguish 
between the habitual and the accidental ; 

Thoreau's "Maine Woods" 


between a clever trick, like that of lifting 
breams guarding their nests, and the 
power to handle any kind of fish. He 
even ran short of available facts, and 
grouped those of unequal value. To be 
able to grasp an even dozen of pencils 
requires but little training ; to be able to 
estimate the weight of a pig, or the cord- 
wood in a tree, needs no more than a 
fairly good judgment; but that " he could 
pace sixteen rods more accurately than 
another man could measure them with 
rod and chain," that is nonsense, for 
it puts at naught the whole science of 
surveying. Emerson's data being unequal 
in rank and kind, the whole sketch is a 
little out of focus, and consequently the 
effect is agreeably artistic. 

Nor is the matter mended by mis- 
quotation. Emerson says, " He could find 
his path in the woods at night, he said, 
better by his feet than his eyes." There 
is nothing remarkable in this. How 
does any one keep the path across his 
own lawn on a black dark night? But 
even so careful a man as Stevenson para- 
phrases thus : " He could guide himself 
about the woods on the darkest night 
by the touch of his feet." Here we have 
a different matter altogether. By taking 
out that " path," a very ordinary accom- 
plishment is turned into one quite im- 
possible. Because Emerson lacked woods 
learning, the least variation from his 
exact words is likely to result in some- 
thing as absurd or as exaggerated as 

Thoreau's abilities have been over- 
rated. The Maine Woods contains er- 
rors in the estimates of distance, area, 
speed, and the like, too numerous to 
mention in detail. No Penobscot boat- 
man can run a batteau over falls at the 
rate of fifteen miles an hour, as Thoreau 
says; no canoeman can make a hundred 
miles a day, even on the St. John River. 
The best records I can discover fall far 
short of Thoreau's estimate for an aver- 
age good day's run. Even when he says 
that his surveyor's eye thrice enabled 
him to detect the slope of the current, he 

magnifies his office. Any woman who 
can tell when a picture hangs straight 
can see the slant of the river in all those 

But his worst error in judgment, and 
the one most easily appreciated on its 
own merits, is the error he made in climb- 
ing Katahdin. He writes that their camp 
was " broad off Katahdin and about a 
dozen miles from the summit," whereas 
we know that his camp was not five miles 
in an air-line from the top of the South 
Slide, and not more than seven from the 
highest peak. The trail from the stream 
to the slide has always been called four 
miles, and Thoreau says that his boat- 
men told him that it was only four miles 
to the mountain; " but as I judged, and 
as it afterwards proved, nearer fourteen." 
The only reason why it proved " nearer 
fourteen " was because he did not go the 
short way. Instead of climbing by the 
Slide, where all West Branch parties 
ascend to-day, he laid a northeast course 
" directly for the base of the highest 
peak," through all the debris and under- 
brush at the foot of the mountain, climb- 
ing where it is so steep that water hardly 
dares to run down. He ought to have 
reasoned that the bare top of a mountain 
is easy walking, and the nearest practic- 
able point, rather than the peak itself, 
was the best place to climb. 

But surely he was a competent natural- 
ist ? There is no space to go over the text 
in detail, but we may turn directly to the 
list of birds in the appendix. After mak- 
ing allowance for ornithology in the fif- 
ties being one of the inexact sciences, the 
list must be admitted to be notably bad. 
It is worse than immediately appears to 
the student who is not familiar with the 
older nomenclature. Thoreau names 
thirty-seven species, and queries four of 
them as doubtful. Oddly, the most char- 
acteristic bird of the region, the Canada 
jay, which the text mentions as seen, is 
omitted from the list. Of the doubtful 
species, the herring gull is a good guess ; 
but the yellow-billed cuckoo and the 
prairie chicken (of all unlikely guesses the 


Thoreau's "Maine Woods" 

most improbable) are surely errors, while 
the white-bellied nuthatch, which he did 
not see, but thought he heard, rests 
only upon his conjecture. Mr. William 
Brewster thinks that it might occur in that 
region in suitably wooded localities, but 
I can find no record west of Houlton and 
north of Katahdin. The tree sparrow, 
though a common migrant, is more than 
doubtful as summer resident. The pine 
warbler must be looked upon with equal 
suspicion. The wood thrush is impossible 
a clear mistake for the hermit. His 
Fuligula albicola (error for albeola) is not 
the buffle-headed duck, which breeds 
north of our limits (and Thoreau was 
here in July) ; it is most likely the horned 
grebe in summer plumage, identified after 
his return by a picture. Similarly his red- 
headed woodpecker, which he vouches for 
thus, " Heard and saw, and good to eat," 
must have been identified by the ver- 
nacular name alone. Among our woods- 
men the " red-headed woodpecker" is not 
Picus erythrocephalus, as Thoreau names 
it, but Ceophloeus pileatus abieticola, the 
great pileated woodpecker, or logcock, a 
bird twice as large, heavily crested, and 
wholly different in structure and color. 
Seven out of the thirty-seven birds are 
too wrong to be disputed; the white- 
bellied nuthatch stands on wholly nega- 
tive evidence ; and, if we had fuller data 
of the forest regions, perhaps several of 
the others might be challenged. 

The list proves that, even according 
to the feeble light of the day, Thoreau 
was not an ornithologist. As a botanist 
he did much better; but that was largely 
by grace of Gray's Manual, then recently 
published. Of the scientific ardor which 
works without books and collates and 
classifies innumerable facts for the sake 
of systematic knowledge, he had not a 
particle. His notes, though voluminous 
and of the greatest interest, rarely furnish 
material for science. If he examined a 
partridge chick, newly hatched, it was 
not to give details of weight and color, 
but to speculate upon the rare clearness 
of its gaze. If he recorded a battle be- 

tween black ants and red, he saw its 
mock heroic side and wrote an Antiad 
upon the occasion; but he did not wait 
to see the fight finished, and to count the 

It was not as an observer that Tho- 
reau surpassed other men, but as an 
interpreter. He had the art and how 
much of an art it is no one can realize 
until he has seated himself before an 
oak or a pine tree and has tried by the 
hour to write out its equation in terms 
of humanity he had the art to see the 
human values of natural objects, to per- 
ceive the ideal elements of unreasoning 
nature and the service of those ideals to 
the soul of man. " The greatest delight 
which the fields and woods minister, is 
the suggestion of an occult relation be- 
tween man and the vegetable," wrote 
Emerson; and it became Thoreau's chief 
text. It is the philosophy behind Tho- 
reau's words, his attempt to reveal the 
Me through the Not Me, reversing the 
ordinary method, which makes his ob- 
servations of such interest and value. 

Flower in the crannied wall, 
I pluck you out of the crannies ; 
Hold you here, root and all, in my hand, 
Little flower but if I could understand 
What you are, root and all, and all in all, 
I should know what God and man is. 

This power to see is rare ; but mere good 
observation is not supernormal. We must 
not attribute to Thoreau's eyes what was 
wrought in his brain; to call him unique- 
ly gifted in matters wherein a thousand 
men might equal him is not to increase 
his fame. 

The Maine Woods also shows clearly 
that Thoreau knew nothing of woodcraft. 
Do we realize that his longest trip gave 
him only ten days actually spent in the 
woods? or that few tourists to-day at- 
tempt to cover the same ground in less 
than two or three weeks ? What his own 
words proclaim there can be no disputing 
over, and Thoreau admits frankly, and 
sometimes naively, that he was incap- 
able of caring for himself in the woods, 
which surely is the least that can be 

Thoreau' s "Maine Woods" 


asked of a man to qualify him as a 
" woodsman." 

In the first place, his mind does not 
work like a woodsman's. " We had not 
gone far," he writes, " before I was 
startled by seeing what I thought was an 
Indian encampment, covered with a red 
flag, on the bank, and exclaimed ' Camp ! ' 
to my comrades. I was slow to discover 
that it was a red maple changed by the 
frost." He ought to have been "slow to 
discover " that it was anything else. 

" I could only occasionally perceive 
his trail in the moss," he writes of Polis, 
" yet he did not appear to look down nor 
hesitate an instant, but led us out exactly 
to the canoe. This surprised me, for 
without a compass, or the sight or noise 
of the river to guide us, we could not have 
kept our course many minutes, and we 
could have retraced our steps but a short 
distance, with a great deal of pains and 
very slowly, using laborious circumspec- 
tion. But it was evident that he could go 
back through the forest wherever he had 
been during the day." A woodsman may 
have to use " laborious circumspection " 
in following the trail of another man, but 
his own he ought to be able to run back 
without hesitation. * 

" Often on bare rocky carries," he says 
again, " the trail was so indistinct that 
I repeatedly lost it, but when I walked 
behind him [Polis] I observed that he 
could keep it almost like a hound, and 
rarely hesitated, or, if he paused a mo- 
ment on a bare rock, his eye immediately 
detected some sign which would have 
escaped me. Frequently we found no 
path at all in these places, and were to 
him unaccountably delayed. He would 
only say it was * ver strange.' " 

"The carry-paths themselves," he says 
again, "were more than usually indis- 
tinct, often the route being revealed only 
by countless small holes in the fallen 
timber made by the tacks in the drivers' 
boots, or where there was a slight trail 
we did not find it." This is almost funny. 
In those days the carries were little trav- 
eled except by the river-drivers; in sum- 

mer they were much choked with shrub- 
bery; but what did the man expect a 
king's highway ? That spring the whole 
East Branch drive, probably a hundred 
men, had tramped the carry for days; 
and every man had worn boots each of 
which, in those days, was armed with 
twenty-nine inch-long steel spikes. The 
whole carry had been pricked out like an 
embroidery pattern. Those little " tack- 
holes " were the carry. If Thoreau could 
have realized that a river-driver never 
goes far from water, and that his track 
is as sure as a mink's or an otter's to lead 
back to water, he would have appreciated 
how much, instead of how little, those 
calk-marks were telling him. But Tho- 
reau did not know the facts of woods 
life, and when he saw a sign he was 
often incapable of drawing an inference 
from it. 

The proof that Thoreau did not know 
the alphabet of woodcraft if further 
proof is wanted is that, on Mud Pond 
Carry, which, in his day, was the most 
open and well-trodden of all the woods 
roads beyond North- East Carry, he took 
a tote-road, used only for winter haul- 
ing, showing neither hoof-mark, sled- 
track, nor footprint in summer, and left 
the regular carry, worn by human feet, 
merely because a sign-board on the for- 
mer pointed to his ultimate destination, 
Chamberlain Lake. Now in the woods a 
tote-road is a tote-road, and a carry is a 
carry; when a man is told to follow one, 
he is not expected to turn off upon the 
other ; there is no more reason to confuse 
the two than to mistake a trolley line for 
a steam-railroad track. No wonder Polis 
" thought little of their woodcraft." 

But aside from this deficiency in woods 
education, Thoreau never got to feel at 
home in the Maine wilderness. He was a 
good " pasture man," but here was some- 
thing too large for him. He appreciated 
all the more its wildness and strange- 
ness; and was the more unready to be 
venturesome. The very closeness of his 
acquaintance with Concord conspired to 
keep him from feeling at home where 


Thoreau' s "Maine Woods" 

the surrounding trees, flowers, and birds 
were largely unfamiliar; for the better a 
man knows one fauna, the more he is 
likely to be ill at ease under a different 
environment. No man has expressed so 
well the timidity which sometimes assails 
the stranger when surrounded by the 
Sabbath peace of the wilderness. "You 
may penetrate half a dozen rods far- 
ther into that twilight wilderness, after 
some dry bark to kindle your fire with, 
and wonder what mysteries lie hidden 
still deeper in it, say at the end of a long 
day's walk; or you may run down to the 
shore for a dipper of water, and get a 
clearer view for a short distance up or 
down the stream. . . . But there is no 
sauntering off to see the country, and ten 
or fifteen rods seems a great way from 
your companions, and you come back 
with the air of a much- traveled man, as 
from a long journey, with adventures to 
relate, although you may have heard 
the crackling of the fire all the while, 
and at a hundred rods you might be lost 
past recovery, and have to camp out." 
That is all very true, but most men do 
not care to own it. " It was a relief to 
get back to our smooth and still varied 
landscape," he writes after a week's trip 
to Chesuncook, which then, as now, was 
only the selvage of the woods. 

I have a friend of the old school who 
appreciates Thoreau, but who always 
balks at one point. ** Call him a woods- 
man! " he cries in disgust; "why, he 
admits himself that he borrowed the axe 
that he built his Walden shanty with! " 
(This seems to him as indefensible as bor- 
rowing a toothbrush.) " But," I urge, 
" he says, too, that he returned it sharper 
than when he took it." " It makes 
no difference, none at all," says he, 
"for I tell you that a real woodsman 
owns his axe" The contention is valid; 
moreover, it is fundamental. A master 
workman in all trades owns his tools. 
Those who have praised Thoreau as a 
woodsman have probably done so under 
the impression that every man who goes 
into the woods under the care of a guide 

is entitled to the name. They have not 
understood the connotation of the term, 
and may have even supposed that there 
is such a thing as an amateur woodsman. 
But there are some few high professions 
where whatever is not genuine is counter- 
feit; half-and-half gentlemen, halting 
patriots, amateur woodsmen, may safely 
be set down as no gentlemen, patriots, 
or woodsmen at all. For in truth wood- 
craft is a profession which cannot be 
picked up by browsing in Massachusetts 
pastures, and no one learns it who does 
not throw himself into it whole-heartedly. 

Yet because Thoreau does not measure 
up to the standard of the woodsman born 
and bred, it would be wrong to infer that 
the average city man could have done as 
well in his place. Well done for an ama- 
teur is often not creditable for a profes- 
sional; but Thoreau's friends demand 
the honors of a professional. On the 
other hand, because he made some mis- 
takes in unimportant details, he must 
not be accused of being unreliable. How 
trustworthy Thoreau is may be known by 
this, that fifty years after he left the 
state forever, I can trace out and call by 
name almost every man whom he even 
passed while in the woods. He did not 
know the names of some of them ; possi- 
bly he did not speak to them; but they 
can be identified after half a century. 
And that cannot be done with a slip- 
shod record of events. The wonder is, 
not that Thoreau did so little here, but 
that in three brief visits, a stranger, tem- 
peramentally alien to these great wilder- 
nesses, he got at the heart of so many 

Almost any one can see superficial 
differences; but to perceive the essence 
of even familiar surroundings requires 
something akin to genius. To be sure, 
he was helped by all the books he could 
obtain, especially by Springer's Forest 
Life and Forest Trees, to which he was 
indebted for both matter and manner; 
from which he learned to narrow his 
field of observation to the woods and the 
Indian, leaving other topics of interest 

Thoreau's "Maine Woods" 


unexamined. But how did he know, un- 
less he discerned it in Springer's account 
of them, that these remote woods farms, 
in his day (not now), were " winter quar- 
ters" ? How did he understand (and this 
he surely did not get from Springer) that 
it is the moose, and not the bear nor the 
beaver, which is " primeval man " ? How 
came he to perceive the Homeric quality 
of the men of the woods ? Hardly would 
the chance tourist see so much. And he 
can explain the Homeric times by these : 
" I have no doubt that they lived pretty 
much the same sort of life in the Homeric 
age, for men have always thought more 
of eating than of fighting ; then, as now, 
their minds ran chiefly on ' hot bread and 
sweet cakes; ' and the fur and lumber 
trade is an old story to Asia and Europe." 
And, with a sudden illumination, "I 
doubt if men ever made a trade of hero- 
ism. In the days of Achilles, even, they 
delighted in big barns, and perchance in 
pressed hay, and he who possessed the 
most valuable team was the best fellow." 
So, though he was neither woodsman 
nor scientist, Thoreau stood at the gate- 
way of the woods and opened them to all 
future comers with the key of poetic in- 
sight. And after the woods shall have 
passed away, the vision of them as he saw 
them will remain. In all that was best 
in him Thoreau was a poet. The finest 
passages in this book are poetical, and he 
is continually striking out some glowing 
phrase, like a spark out of flint. The logs 
in the camp are " tuned to each other 
with the axe." " For beauty give me 
trees with the fur on." The pines are for 
the poet, " who loves them like his own 
shadow in the air." Of the fall of a tree 
in the forest, he says, " It was a dull, dry, 
rushing sound, with a solid core to it, 
like the shutting of a door in some dis- 
tant entry of the damp and shaggy wil- 
derness." Katahdin is " a permanent 
shadow." And upon it, "rocks, gray, 
silent rocks, were the silent flocks and 
herds that pastured, chewing a rocky 
cud at sunset. They looked at me with 
hard gray eyes, without a bleat or low." 

I have seen the rocks on many granite 
hills, but that belongs only to the top of 

Indeed, this whole description of Ka- 
tahdin is unequaled. " Chesuncook " is 
the best paper of the three, taken as a 
whole, but these few pages on Katahdin 
are incomparable. Happily he knew the 
traditions of the place, the awe and ven- 
eration with which the Indians regarded 
it as the dwelling-place of Pamola, their 
god of thunder, who was angry at any 
invasion of his home and resented it in 
fogs and sudden storms. (" He very an- 
gry when you gone up there; you heard 
him gone oo-oo-oo over top of gun-bar- 
rel," they used to say.) Thoreau's Ka- 
tahdin was a realm of his own, in which 
for a few hours he lived in primeval 
solitude above the clouds, invading the 
throne of Pamola the Thunderer, as Pro- 
metheus harried Zeus of his lightnings. 
The gloomy grandeur of ^Eschylus rises 
before him to give him countenance, and 
he speaks himself as if he wore the bus- 
kin. But it is not windy declamation. 
He does not explode into exclamation 
points. Katahdin is a strange, lone, sav- 
age hill, unlike all others, a very In- 
dian among mountains. It does not need 
superlatives to set it off. Better by far 
is Thoreau's grim humor, his calling it a 
" cloud factory," where they made their 
bed " in the nest of a young whirlwind," 
and lined it with " feathers plucked from 
the live tree." Had he been one of the 
Stonish men, those giants with flinty eye- 
brows, fabled to dwell within the granite 
vitals of Katahdin, he could not have 
dealt more stout-heartedly by the home 
of the Thunder-God. 

The best of Thoreau's utterances in 
this volume are like these, tuned to the 
rapid and high vibration of the poetic 
string, but not resolved into rhythm. It 
is poetry, but not verse. Thoreau's prose 
stands in a class by itself. There is an 
honest hardness about it. We may ac- 
cept or deny Buffon's dictum that the 
style is the man ; but the man of soft and 
slippery make-up would strive in vain 


The Senor's Vigil 

to acquire the granitic integrity of struc- 
ture which marks Thoreau's writing. It 
is not poetical prose in the ordinary scope 
of that flowery term ; but, as the granite 
rock is rifted and threaded with veins of 
glistening quartz, this prose is fused at 
white heat with poetical insights and in- 
terpretations. Judged by ordinary stand- 
ards, he was a poet who failed. He had 
no grace at metres; he had no aesthetic 
softness; his sense always overruled the 
sound of his stanzas. The fragments of 

verse which litter his workshop remind 
one of the chips of flint about an Indian 
encampment. They might have been the 
heads of arrows, flying high and singing 
in their flight, but that the stone was 
obdurate or the maker's hand was un- 
equal to the shaping of it. But the waste 
is nothing; there is behind them the 
Kineo that they came from, this prose 
of his, a whole mountain of the same 
stuff, every bit capable of being wrought 
to ideal uses. 



AT a tentative suggestion from the man 
of the house we had agreed in the sum- 
mer, the four of us, that we would spend 
Christmas at our old haunt in the moun- 

Don Danuelo said he had outgrown 
place. With so many severed ties, no 
place was home : he was free. The Senor 
replied that all places were home to him, 
and he would be glad to come home. 
The Judge hesitated he lived in a 
small inland town and said, " The old 
are not much missed at Christmas. Your 
children form ties, and " there was 
bitterness in his tone " your absence 
is not regretted as much as your com- 
pany when your home is theirs." I 
assented because these were my dear 
friends and I was absolutely alone in a 
boarding-house, the harbor of feminine 
derelicts and a spray of holly over a 
picture in a nine by ten upper-floor room 
did n't mean Christmas. 

We met on the train, the Sefior, Don 
Danuelo, and I. It was a raw, blustery 
night; at the last minute I half wished 
that I had not consented to go; but hav- 
ing agreed I met my promise squarely. 
I have never quite grown used to setting 
out alone at night. At the first plunge 

into darkness I feel the untried swim- 
mer's instinctive dread; it takes courage 
to down that shrinking! 

I had taken the drawing-room, a luxu- 
rious extravagance I really could n't 
afford, I called it a Christmas gift to 
myself, that we might spend a pleasant 
evening together undampened by the 
lofty smile of the superior porter, or stare 
of fellow traveler. I wished the spirit of 
Christmas to start with us, to travel with 
us, to stay with us when we reached the 
mountains. I have no right to these 
youthful fancies at my years. Sometimes 
I am half ashamed that I feel so young; 
it is indecorous, in ill accord with graying 
hair. In the same spirit I had brought a 
box of chocolates for the evening, and I 
took it from my bag when we settled into 

Don Danuelo sank heavily against the 
plush back of the seat and put on his 
black silk skull-cap, sighing. The Senor 
sat at the window watching the reced- 
ing arc of city lights as the train curved 
the bay. 

"It's good to leave this desolation." 
He nodded when the last twinkle dis- 
appeared. " Our beloved city in its ashes 
has only the spirit of its people to keep 

The Senor's Vigil 


its holiday. Ah ! ah ! it is sad to see it 
laid low." 

Don Danuelo twisted uneasily. " I 
feel a twinge of my rheumatism. I'm not 
sure that I'm not a fool to leave the city 
this time of year." 

** We are three wise folk journeying 
afar," the Senor said blithely. " And, 
madam," he turned to me, " we have 
the happiness of having a lady accom- 
pany us on our quest. We are fortunate 

" Not a wise woman, I'm afraid." I 
shook my head, laughing, and looked out. 

Thick clouds darkened the sky; we 
heard the wind screech as it clawed at the 
double car-windows. Yet I rather liked 
flying through the darkness, now that I 
was not alone. It was so warm and light 
inside, so deliciously comfortable and 
cosy. The revolving car-wheels ground 
out a Christmas refrain, and my heart 
echoed it. Surely the Christmas spirit 
hovered near. 

The Senor leaned toward me he was 
not given to compliment and pointed 
to the star shining through a clear space 
in the wrack of cloud. " Madam, your 
eyes are bright as the Christmas star. It 
is a happy journey to you ? " 

" A happy journey," I repeated. " To- 
morrow night will be Christmas eve 
and it will not be lonely. It has been for 
many, many years," I added low to my- 

"I'm sure there's no way of heating 
the rooms, and my asthma will come 
back," Don Danuelo grumbled. " Why 
do they overheat the cars so abomin- 
ably ? " Don Danuelo was plainly out of 
sorts; his mood followed the gathering 
storm. He was a little " low in his mind," 
as he graphically expressed the fall in 
the barometer of his feelings, and refused 
sweets. " I take better care of my diges- 
tion at my age," he replied, scornfully 
eyeing the Senor, who was munching 
chocolate creams in evident enjoyment. 
" A merciful man is merciful to his 
stomach," he continued in grim dis- 

The swaying of the car was soothing, 
and, under the acetylene lamp, Don 
Danuelo was soon nodding, his head 
drooping forward on his breast. He had 
aged since summer, but he looked peace- 
ful; the Christmas spirit was whispering 
pleasant dreams, from the smile on his 

" Do not wake him." The Senor laid 
finger to his lip. " It is blessed to sleep. 
I envy Don Danuelo. The nights are 
long to us who wake and think. But we 
shall all rest in the mountains, madam." 

The mountains raised naked hands 
to us next morning in the gray, sullen 
light. Tree and bush, save evergreen, 
were stripped to the bone of leaf; bare 
branches stood stark against the sky. A 
light snowfall had whitened the higher 
peaks; sombre green of tall pines looked 
black against the white. The river flowed 
dark and swollen, gnawing at granite 
boulders, snarling in foamy rage like a 
great cat tearing at its bonds. Across 
Shasta, threatening clouds were drawn. 
It was a changed world, from the bright 
glow of summer to this lowering winter. 
Yet the shorn mountains held a strange 
dignity. I felt depressed as I shook hands 
with the man of the house, but the cheeri- 
ness of his greeting made sunshine. You 
knew he was glad to see you. Even Don 
Danuelo smiled at the old welcoming 
jokes. And Christmas was in the air, 
Christmas fragrance rose from every 
green thing, filling the earth. Swaying 
limbs were Christmas branches resinous 
and sweet, and young Christmas trees 
were set like altar tapers thick on the 
edge of the field. 

"It's been raining a week solid," the 
man of the house said, urging the patient 
horses up the sticky hill-road. " The 
roads have been most washed out. We 
were afraid you might n't come, and " 

" We came to greet the little baby," 
the Senor said, " to see the beautiful gift 
laid at your door." 

The pleased father's face rippled with 
proud good humor. 

" We're going to make a fisherman 


The Senor's Vigil 

out of him." He turned to Don Danuelo. 
" You ought to see him grip his fingers 
round * old reliable.' " " Old reliable " 
was Don Danuelo's favorite stout bam- 
boo bait-rod. 

" A fisherman ! " Don Danuelo's ex- 
pression was consternation itself. " Man 
alive! " he ejaculated " Caramba! 
I brought him a doll a doll. When 
you wrote, you said a baby " He 
pounded the stalwart man of the house 
on the back. " Why did n't you say a 
boy, man. Lordy, lordy a doll ! " He 
chuckled to himself all the way up the 
hill. " He shall have ' old reliable,' sir, 
when he grows up to it. I hope he may 
land as many fine trout with it as I 
have lifted from the Sacramento." The 
old man became reminiscent between 
chuckles. " Oh, lordy, a doll ! " he kept 

We brought smiling faces to greet the 
Judge, who met us at the gate, gaunter, 
thinner, more bowed than when we left 
him in the summer. 

The storm burst toward night. Rain 
fell as it can fall only in the northern 
mountains, in hard, persistent slant. The 
wind shrieked from the top of the hills, 
and rushed in wild elation down the 
canons where sullen boom of river joined 
the roar. The big fir shading the porch 
rasped the shingles of the roof. Windows 
shook in their frames, and one pane of 
glass in the best room smashed into bits. 
The old house trembled, afraid; the 
world was full of crash of sound. On a 
far mountain-side the splintering of a 
tree came sharp as a rifle-shot. Outside 
it grew black, dense black, storm- 
whipped, and full of confused strife. You 
could feel the darkness; it was thick, 
palpable. When I went to the door I 
could not see a finger's length across the 
porch. The vines flapped like chained 
things writhing to be loosed. The door 
was torn from my grasp and swung back 
and forth on its hinges. 

Inside the gathering-room a huge fire 
leaped. The whole room swam in light, 
warmth. The door of the adjoining room 

was ajar, so that we could see the little 
child asleep in its rude cradle. The cal- 
endars on the wall there were many 
were wreathed in fir. Great branches 
of toyon berries, our Californian holly, 
banked the high mantel-piece rich, 
glossy branches thick with lustrous red 
berries making the heart glad with their 
glow. I filled the top of the pine desk 
with the overflow, and every space was 
bright with fir and berry. 

We were watching red apples, from 
last fall's trees, turn and sizzle on strings 
before the blaze. The Sefior broke the 

" What a glorious Christmas eve! 
What a grand Te Deum the forest and 
river are singing." 

After he spoke, somehow, we forgot 
the strife and cold and fretted nerves. 

The master of the house brought out 
a graphophone and set it on a table in 
the corner. 

" We'll have music to-night," he said. 
" I bought this for the baby." 

"Lordy, lordy a doll!" I over- 
heard Don Danuelo chuckle to himself. 

" If you wish to hark back to youth, 
play the old tunes," I whispered to the 
Judge, as the man of the house started 
the machine with "Down on the Suwa- 
nee River." Don Danuelo's eyes bright- 
ened, and he turned to the little woman, 
who sat where she could watch her 

" If it will not trouble you, may we 
have some eggs and cream and sugar? 
I have some fine whiskey in my room. 
We'll have a famous egg-nog to-night, 
just as we used to have on the old planta- 
tion when I was a boy." 

To the grinding out of the " Suwanee 
River" Don Danuelo beat eggs; no one 
else could be intrusted with that delicate 
task. I was permitted, as a special privi- 
lege, to beat the whites to proper stiffness 
under strict supervision. The Judge was 
detailed to pour the whiskey carefully, 
drop by drop. Don Danuelo sat before 
the fire, a kitchen apron tied about his 
neck, stirring the mixture in the yellow 

The Senor's Vigil 


bowl, issuing orders. The Senor hovered 
about interestedly, for the compound 
was new to him. Don Danuelo's foot 
kept time to the stir of the spoon. 

" I can hear old Uncle Billy outside, 
rattling the glasses on his tray ! " he 
sighed reminiscently ; " arid I recollect," 
he turned to us, his eyes glistening, 
" when I was a boy, sneaking out to the 
pantry and putting a big dinner goblet 
in place of the small glass meant for me. 
And Uncle Billy was white : he never 
told, but put his big hand round that 
corner of the tray, when Marse Dan's 
turn came. Lordy ! " 

The graphophone wheezed. The man 
of the house took up the brush to 
smooth the flow of sound. " Here, Judge, 
not so fast," Don Danuelo called. "Whis- 
key 's like oil; it must be poured slow- 
ly to mix well." I showed my foamy 
bank. " Hm, madam, a little bit stiffer. 
It must be stiff enough to stick if you 
turn the platter upside down." His 
hearty laugh deadened the roar of the 
storm. " Turn the crank of your machine 
again, man. I can hear my mother play- 
ing that tune on the old piano and the 
governor snoring in the corner and 
Uncle Billy listening behind the pantry 
door I'm young again to-night. Your 
beating of the whites does credit to you, 
madam; they are light enough to have 
been done in the south." 

My wrist ached, but I was foolishly 
pleased at praise in even so trifling a 
thing; not many bones of approbation 
are flung to us when we are growing old. 
Don Danuelo filled a glass, and with a 
stately bow, not at all impaired by the 
broadness of his girth, handed it to me. 

" I shall play Uncle Billy to-night. I 
appeal to your excellent judgment, 

" Nectar! " I exclaimed as I drank. 
Why nectar ? But that seems to be the 
summit of all things drinkable, and I am 
not of an inventive mind. 

"To the blessed Christmas Eve." The 
Senor's glass touched mine, and all the 
little circle in the firelight clinked glasses 

merrily in chime of good fellowship. The 
Judge's gaunt face softened, his crusti- 
ness crumbled, and he toasted Don 

" To the best fisher on the river," he 
pledged gallantly. 

" With bait, sir, with bait! " Don 
Danuelo disclaimed, but swaggered at 
the compliment. 

" The best mixer of the best drink on 
earth," the Judge added, draining his 

" Hear hear! " the rest of us clam- 
ored in hearty assent. 

Don Danuelo refilled our glasses from 
the yellow bowl with a kitchen spoon. 
What did it matter? We, too, were in 
that old drawing-room; we, too, heard 
the ancient piano and were served by 
Uncle Billy with the thin silver ladle 
from the Canton bowl. We, too, were 
young. The Senor drew up his slender 
figure and stood. 

" I wish," he said, " to drink a very 
good health to my good, good friends; 
to the little babe in the other room. May 
peace be his portion of the drink of life; 
may that cup be ever at his lips; may 
peace be with all of us to-night, and for- 

The words were not many, but the 
soul wished it so earnestly that a trans- 
figured look was in his face. For a mo- 
ment a hush ; then the wail of the storm 
smote across the silence. The man of 
the house started the instrument again. 
"Old Dan Tucker" rollicked among 
the rafters; Don Danuelo's foot patted 
the bare board floor. 

" Come on, madam." He held out his 
hands to me. "Come on, all. We're 
going to have a Virginia reel. We always 
ended Christmas Eve with it on the old 
plantation and many's the reel we 
had at the Mexican hacienda, ay de mi ! " 

I hesitated. He drew me from my 
seat. I was not unwilling; my feet 
twitched; I felt the invitation of the 
music. The Judge unbent and took his 
place in line. The Senor, willing pupil, 
followed the Judge's instructions. No 


The Senor's Vigil 

one was old ; age was a myth youth, 
youth, eternal youth, bubbled like wine 
in our veins. There was color in the 
Senor's pale cheeks, his deep eyes 
sparkled. The Judge ! It was a slender 
young man who bowed graciously before 
me; and I dipped and curtsied, full of 
the joy of it, the joy of motion and high 
flood of life. When we halted, for pure 
lack of breath and a break in the music, 
Don Danuelo cut the finest pigeon- wing. 
Transfixed, we watched the rhythmical 
intricacies of his steps. No one was old 

we had all gone back ! I held my 
breath in fear that the joy of it would 
bring tears. 

We may tell you adolescents that it is 
wisdom, ambition, fortune we care for. 
W T e may tell you this, but all the time it 
is youth our hearts are craving, youth 
with its beliefs, its trust, its glow, its 
magic youth, the lost pence we spent 
so prodigally and will never have the 
chance of spending again. Had a miracle 
happened ? My body was as light as my 
heart; my heart beat rapturously. I saw 
youth in all those faces in the circle about 
the fire; the lines born of the travail of 
life were smoothed away. Don Danuelo 
hummed the air the graphophone was 
playing; the Judge's eyes snapped fire, 
and mischief smothered his usual grav- 
ity; the Senor looked serene and blessed 

and I I vow I felt twenty. My hair 
was loosened, my cheeks glowed; I felt 
the burn that was not from fire ; I did not 
care. I turned to the Senor it is always 
to the Senor we turn to ask if it were 
really true this blessedness when the 
door was flung open; the section boss 
in oilskins was swept in with the wind, 
and a trail of rain followed him. A wet 
dog crawled to the hearth and settled 
limply, his head between his paws. We 
made way for both and waited. A lantern 
swung in the man's hand; his face was 
troubled, anxious. Don Danuelo rose 
to shut the door, and limped; I noticed 
it. He put his hand to his knee the 
old gesture. My heart grew gray. Was 
it all over ? It could n't last ! 

The man addressed the man of the 
house : 

" Jim, the bridge below the station has 
been washed away, and the down train's 
stalled. The suspension foot-bridge 
'cross to my cabin's gone, too. The 
river's running bank-full. My wife's 
alone on t'other side; it's a nasty night." 

All these troubles not a mile away, and 
we had been disporting ourselves like 
old Don Danuelo limped painfully 
when he ladled the last drop from the 
yellow bowl and gave it to the man, who 
swallowed it gratefully, not minding that 
it no longer foamed. 

" My wife is scared," he said. " I 
can't get to her; I can't try; it's my duty 
to look after the other folks who don't 
need me. Jim, you 're the best friend I ' ve 
got, and I've come to you to see if you 
can do anything. She's alone; there's 
a California lion on the hill back of the 

So quietly the Senor left, I did not 
hear him go. He came back wrapped in 
an oilskin coat much too big for him. 

" I will go with you and see what can 
be done." 

The baby woke; the little woman went 
to hush it. Don Danuelo offered to hold 
it while the mother searched for a lantern 
for the man of the house, and I saw a 
check folded in the tiny hand. He mo- 
tioned me to silence. 

" It's nothing a little Christmas gift; 
there's a mortgage on the ranch, you 
know," he whispered, passing the baby 
over to me. " Lordy, lordy, a doll!" 
again he chuckled to himself. " I owe 
the little rascal this apology." When I 
would have praised him, he muttered 
fretfully, "I told you on the train that 
I should n't have come, madam. It 's 
beastly weather, and my rheumatism cuts 
like a knife." But I knew that in his 
heart nothing could have torn from him 
the memory of that last hour. 

When the mother returned, I hastened 
for wraps and my heavy boots. The 
Judge came in, storm-equipped. We 
both declared, in spite of protest, our 

The Senor's Vigil 


determination to go. I knew that I was 
foolish and of no earthly use except for 
the comfort that a woman's presence 
might give to another woman separated 
from the world by a mad river. Young 
blood still coursed in my veins, and I was 
keen for adventure. 

When we went out, following in the 
wake of the lanterns, it was quite still. 
With a sudden shift of wind the gust had 
blown itself out. It had turned bitter 
cold; the cold bit at your face and 
tweaked at your ears, chilling your blood 
to ice. The rain had stopped ; sleet and 
snow were falling, a hateful mixture. I 
put out my hand and felt the sting of the 
icy drops. The road was ankle-deep in 
slushy red mud. You had to wrest your 
shoe from one clammy imprint to make 
another; the ooze made a sucking sound. 
Fortunately it would freeze before we 
came back. The thick darkness was 
dimly lightened by the veil of fine snow 
flung against it. The only way to cling 
to the road was to follow the tiny, blurred 
points of the two lanterns ahead. I fell 
behind and lost the light at a bend 
crowded close by a dense growth of sap- 
ling pine. I halted ; I was not afraid, for 
fear was a thing of the past. The Sefior 
spoke; I had not noticed that he had 
fallen back with me. 

" Had you not better return, madam ?" 

I struggled for breath to answer nega- 
tively, and increased my pace. 

The station was filled with railroad 
officials and impatient travelers; tele- 
graph instruments ticked rapidly. Here, 
the section boss left us. 

" Do what you can to get her over, 
but run no risks," he cautioned sternly, 
and went to his duty toward the stalled 

Snow was coming down thicker ; cedar 
and fir showed white- topped branches; 
the slush was already stiffening; the 
thermometer, hanging at the station 
door, was racing past freezing point. 
You had to swing your arms to keep 
the blood moving. I shivered in my 
warm wraps as we walked down the 

track to the clump of redbuds where the 
end of the slight bridge had been an- 
chored to a rock. The roar of the river 
kept us from speaking; we had to shout 
to be heard a foot away. 

Through the wet redbuds, now shed- 
ding snow upon us, we came to the river. 
In black rage it was boiling close to the 
top of the bank, the surface massed with 
wreckage. One huge pine-trunk jarred 
the bank near where I stood; I felt the 
earth shiver. The woman, with a shawl 
pinned over her head, stood on the op- 
posite bank, lantern in hand, peering 
through the dark. At the flash of our 
lantern she swung hers in return. A firm 
hand signaled us; I was proud of my 
sex, and stepped where she could see that 
there was a woman ready to help. We 
tried to shout, making trumpets of our 
hands. In that swirl of sound, a human 
voice was powerless no more than the 
pipe of a reed. 

The men went lower to examine the 
fastenings of the wire cable thrown across 
the river by the McCloud Country Club 
for the purpose of carrying over its heavy 
freight the only communication with 
the other side left intact by the storm. 

" It's impossible to get a human being 
across to-night," the man of the house 
said when they returned. " The car's 
on this side, but it would be almost cer- 
tain death; the cable's not six feet above 
the water now." 

They signaled to the waiting woman 
on the bank, who interpreted their pur- 
pose by signs. She held the lantern near 
her face, and I never saw despair more 
plainly written on human features. 1 
saw her press her hand to her heart, 
then straighten and smile. That smile 
strengthened me. I confess I was crying 
and letting tears freeze on my cheeks. It 
seemed so lone, and she was young. The 
dark mountain back of her rose straight 
as a wall, black with mystery, and 
creeping furry things seek shelter in 
storm they say, and who knew what 
the black trees held ? It is these mountain 
folk who can teach us city-bred weaklings 


The Senor's Vigil 

to endure. She pointed toward the cable. 
The Senor stepped to the nearest point 
and shook his head. He clasped his 
hands together and closed his eyes. We 
bent our heads. And to the woman 
standing in the thickening fall of snow 
I felt that new courage came. 

The man of the house again tried to 
shout; i